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A m e r i c a n

M a n a g e m e n t

A s s o c i a t i o n

COACHING
A Global Study of Successful
Practices
Current Trends and Future Possibilities

2008-2018

Canada

USA Latin America Asia-Pacific

Europe Middle East Africa

A m e r i c a n

M a n a g e m e n t

A s s o c i a t i o n

COACHING
HOW TO BUILD
AAGlobal
Study of Successful
HIGH-PERFORMANCE
Practices
ORGANIZATION
Current Trends and Future Possibilities

2008-2018

Copyright 2008, American Management Association


For more information about American Management Association, visit www.amanet.org

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table of Contents
PAGE

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi
A Review of the Coaching Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
A Brief History of Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Purposes of Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Recent Areas of Focus in the Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Evaluating Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Selecting Coaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Choosing Between External and Internal Coaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Future of Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Factors That Influence Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


The State of Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
What Does Coaching Mean? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Is It Increasing or Decreasing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Is There a Relationship to Success? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
How Is It Done and How Long Does It Take? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
How Common Is Peer Coaching? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Internal Reasons Organizations Use Coaching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Improving Individual Productivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Improving Organizational Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Addressing Workplace Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Boosting Employee Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Improving Retention Rates and Recruitment Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
External Factors That Influence Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Standards and Certifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
The Global Business Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Hindrances to Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Mismatches Between Coach/Employee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Questionable Expertise of Coaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The Difficulty of ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Negative Attitudes Toward Coaching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Adopting State-of-the-Art Coaching Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


Have a Clear Reason for Using Coaching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Use Coaching to Help the Right People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Select Coaches the Right Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Be a Matchmaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Know When an External Versus an Internal Coach Is Most Effective . . . . . . . . 25
Consider External Training Methods for Internal Coaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Dont Disconnect Coaching from Other T&D Initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Measure the Outcome of Coaching Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

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Coaching from an International Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31


How Does Coaching Get Done Internationally? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Whats the Goal of Coaching? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Who Gets Selected to Be a Coach? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
How Do Firms Use Internally and Externally Based Coaches? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
How Do They Develop Internal Coaches? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
How Is Coaching Delivered and Whos Receiving It? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Are Coaching Metrics Always Associated with Coaching Success?. . . . . . . . . . . 36
When Do Coaching Relationships Fail? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Strategy Forecast: The State of Coaching in the Year 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38


The Need for Coaches Will Continue to Grow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Executive Coaching Will Mature as an Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
More Barriers to Entry Will Emerge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Professional Coaches Will Market to More Midlevel Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Peer and Internal Coaching Will Become More Established and Well Managed . . 40
Matchmaking Will Become Essential to Successful Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Establishing Metrics Will Become a Standard Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Coaching Will Become More Virtual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
External Coaching Development Sources Will Be Established . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Organizations Will Become Savvier Consumers of Coaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
About this Survey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Target Survey Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Survey Instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Procedure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Demographic Questions and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Table 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Table 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Table 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Table 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Table 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Table 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Table 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Tables 8 and 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Coaching Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Table 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Table 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Table 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

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Table 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Table 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Tables 15 and 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Table 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Tables 18 and 19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Tables 20 and 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Tables 22 and 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Tables 24 and 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Tables 26 and 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Tables 28 and 29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Tables 30 and 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Tables 32 and 33 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Tables 34 and 35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Tables 36 and 37 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Table 38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Table 39 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Tables 40 and 41 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Table 42 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Table 43 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Table 44 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Table 45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Table 46 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Authors and Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

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Foreword
Everyone is familiar with coaching. Over the centuries, the value of coaching has been
established in sports in the skills and attitude of athletes. In the twentieth century, it
became a practice in companiesspecifically, a responsibility of managers to address
the work performance of staff. Increasingly, however, companies are utilizing it to
address the career and job needs of their senior executives, and they reach outside for
coaches. Because coaching is now recognized as an integral element in leadership
development, there is increasing interest in its best practices.
American Management Association commissioned a global examination of the
state of the art of coaching by the Institute for Corporate Productivity not only to review
the ever-increasing use of the discipline today but also to see in what direction it will
take in the future. Over 1,000 executives and managers were questioned about their use
of coaching to determine its popularity, its association with higher performance, the
correlation between executive performance via coaching and corporate performance,
the methodology used to choose coaches, the international outlook for coaching, and
even the role of peer coaching.
This study confirms that external and internal coaches have a role in executive
leadership development that improves organizations productivity and profitability.
This study also confirmed that the more frequently respondents used a formal process
to measure results, the more likely they were to be successful in their coaching programs.
AMA hopes to play a role in the development of the discipline with the result that
it makes a greater contribution to the success of executives and their companies. This
study provides a roadmap to that end.
Edward T. Reilly
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Management Association

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Introduction
Many organizations are chronically concerned that they dont have the right talent to
succeed, and this is especially true in the area of leadership. They view leadership as
among the top issues affecting their organizations both today and in the future, yet
theyre often dissatisfied with everything from succession planning systems to
leadership development programs.
Amid these concerns, coaching has come onto the scene more prominently in
recent years. Executive coaching is often viewed with a combination of hope and
skepticism. On the one hand, assigning individual employees a coach seems like an
excellent way to provide custom-delivered development opportunities to both current
and aspiring leaders. On the other hand, coaching is often viewed as a kind of
cottage industry where credentials are questionable, services are expensive, and
success is hard to measure.
To gain a better understanding of both the promise and perils of coaching,
American Management Association (AMA) commissioned the Institute for Corporate
Productivity to conduct a global survey of coaching practices in todays organizations.
In essence, two survey samples were analyzed: a larger sample made up primarily of
North American organizations and a somewhat smaller one made up primarily of
organizations located in Europe and the Middle East.
The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity team defined coaching in a
relatively conventional way as a short- to medium-term relationship between a
manager or senior leader and a consultant (internal or external) with the purpose of
improving work performance (Douglas & McCauley, 1999). We also asked several
questions about peer coaching, in which each participant acts as both coach and
coachee to a partner. Below are some of the key findings from the study:
Finding One: Coaching is used by only about half of todays companies. In the
North American sample, 52% report having such programs in place, and, in the
international sample, the proportion is 55%.
Finding Two: Coaching continues to gain in popularity. Among respondents
who say their organizations dont yet have coaching programs, a sizable proportion
(37% in the North American sample and 56% in the international sample) say such
programs will be implemented in the future.

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Finding Three: Coaching is associated with higher performance. Correlations do


not necessarily imply causation, but respondents from organizations that use coaching
more than in the past are also more likely to report two kinds of advantages:
1. Theyre more likely to report that their organizations have higher levels of
success in the area of coaching.
2. Theyre more likely to say that their organizations are performing well in the
market, as determined by self-reports in the combined areas of revenue
growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Finding Four: Coaching is primarily aimed at boosting individual performance.
The desire to improve individual performance/productivity is the most widely cited
purpose of coaching.
Finding Five: Clarity of purpose counts. The more a company has a clear reason
for using a coach, the more likely that its coaching process will be viewed as successful.
Finding Six: Evaluating coachings performance may help boost success rates. The
more frequently respondents reported using a measurement method, the more likely
they were to report success in their coaching programs.
Finding Seven: It pays to interview. Having an interview with the prospective
coach has the strongest relationship with reporting a successful coaching program.
Finding Eight: It pays to match the right coach with the right client. Matching
people according to expertise and personality seems to be the best strategies.
Finding Nine: External training seems to work best. Externally based methods of
providing training on coaching are most strongly correlated with overall coaching
success, though they are less often used.
Finding Ten: Coachings international future looks bright. Compared with the
North American sample, organizations in the international group have not had
coaching programs in place for as long, but more in this group plan to implement
coaching programs in the future.
Finding Eleven: Peer coaching needs to become more effective. Although a little
over half of responding organizations use peer coaching, only about a third of
respondents who use it consider it to be very effective or extremely effective.
This study contains many other insights, of course, as well as information about
the most effective coaching practices that companies are using. It also analyzes current
trends and projects them into the future in order to forecast what the state of coaching
may look like in another decade.
Generally speaking, our team believes that coaching will continue to expand and
mature as an important leadership development practice. We expect that coaching
will become one of the keys to developing and retaining scarce talent in the future,
and we think companies that learn to leverage it well will have a significant competitive
advantage in the global marketplace.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

A Review of the Coaching Literature


A Brief History of Coaching
Coaching has its roots in the area of sports, of
course, and, as such, dates back at least as far as
ancient Greece where well-paid coaches trained
many of the athletes competing in the original
Olympic games (Carpenter, 2004).

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

As it applies to the workplace, however, coaching is a much more recent development.


There has been individualized training in the form of apprenticeships for hundreds of
years, but the earliest form of such coaching as we know it today was called
developmental counseling (Flory, 1965). Kampa-Kokesch and Anderson (2001) report
that from 1940 to 1979, coaching tended to be performed by organization consultants.
During this initial period, coaches were primarily psychologists and organization
development (OD) professionals who were focused on OD issues. There was often an
informal aspect to it. For example, an executive coach who remembers this period
recalls a CEO stopping her in a hallway and asking if she could stop by and chat for
an hour or two.
From 1980 to 1994, the field of coaching experienced rapid growth, quickly
expanding into many new areas of service (life coaching, outplacement, career coaching,
etc.). According to Hudson (1999), the field was accelerated by complexities associated
with increased downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, and outplacement. The leaders role
evolved to deal with rising levels of ambiguity and pressures to perform in an increasingly
global context. Top managers were asked to be both strategic decision makers and
masters of the soft skills required to effectively manage people (Sherman & Freas, 2004).
From 1995 to the present, the amount of executive and workforce coaching has
continued to grow. There has been an increase in the number of publications devoted
to coaching, in organizations that offer training to coaches, in the establishment of
coaching organizations, and in the focus placed on coaching research by academia.
Today, the number of coaches is estimated at 30,000 (International Coach Federation
[ICF], 2007). However, because the field is wide open to anyone who wants to enter, it
is difficult to know the exact number of people performing coaching services.
Todays coaches come from myriad backgrounds and professions, including
business, law, teaching, human resources, and sports (Harris, 1999; Kilburg, 2000),
and they dont necessarily join coaching organizations.

The Purposes of Coaching


According to the literature, leadership development is often viewed as the purpose of
most coaching assignments (Underhill et al., 2007). Organizations also employ coaches
to help with leader transitions (such as promotions, lateral moves, or international
assignments), to retain high potentials, to improve performance that is off track, and
to help individuals assess where their career is now and where it may go next.
Some coaching focuses on honing specific business skills. For example, one
company helps leaders learn to be more productive by giving them coaching on
improving their organizational skills. Coaching is tied to training programs in some
companies. For example, a manager attends training for some specified number of hours
and then gets individual coaching to reinforce and apply things learned in the workshop.
There is also life coaching, which helps clients set and achieve goals in aspects
of their lives other than just business. Life coaching is usually funded by the individual.

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Recent Areas of Focus in the Literature


There are several major areas of focus in the recent literature on coaching. First,
experts have become interested in best practices in the field of coaching. Because the
area is so open and relatively unregulated, organizations want to know which practices
result in the best organizational outcomes.
In a related matter, employers and other interested parties wish to know how
best to evaluate and calculate the return on investment (ROI) of coaching programs.
They also wish to know how best to select coaches. This matter includes whether to
select coaches from outside or inside the organization.

Evaluating Coaching
One study suggests that only a minority of organizations assess the impact of their
coaching interventions (McDermott et al., 2007), and another finds that a scant 9%
of survey respondents said they formally assess coachings return on investment
(Sherpa, 2007).
There doesnt appear to be a universal methodology for evaluating coaching
benefits (Leedham, 2005). Of the existing coaching evaluation methods, some are
based purely on the perception of the recipient, which can be an unreliable gauge.
Yet, the most prevalent method used to evaluate coaching is soliciting the coachees
reaction to the service through a self-report. Sometimes a second level of evaluation
is added through ratings completed by others during and after coaching.
What are usually missing, however, are measures of behavioral changes brought
on by coaching. These can be determined by obtaining ratings by team or peers over
a one- to three-month period of time. An even higher level of evaluation can be
attained by measuring the impact of coaching on the organization or business. Data
such as sales increases, retention, satisfaction, promotion, and so forth, are generally
required to do this and must be done over a much longer time frame such as one to
two years (MacKie, 2007).
A number of other evaluation methodologies are discussed in the literature.
Many experts agree that, in order to evaluate coaching well, business people need to
increase their skills in evaluating coaching, but there are some who question whether
trying to determine ROI is really necessary, given the difficulties in measuring it
(Underhill et al., 2007).
Selecting Coaches
Some experts believe that selecting coaches is difficult because theres a lack of
standardization or credentialing in the coaching industry. This complicates the
determination of coaching qualifications. Others argue that coaching has not met the
criteria for a profession (Brooks & Wright, 2007) because it lacks barriers to entry,
formal university-level qualifications, regulatory bodies, an enforceable body of ethics,
and state-sanctioned licensing. There isnt even a shared common body of knowledge.

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Some professional standards do seem to be emerging, though in a somewhat


haphazard fashion. The American Psychological Association (APA), which is the
professional organization representing psychologists, offers postgraduate training in
executive coaching (Dingfelder, 2006). The APA has stressed to current psychologists
that entering the coaching field requires that they understand business and psychological know-how (Foxhall, 2002). In one set of guidelines, the APA (2007) notes that
consulting psychologists in the area of coaching learn how to provide competent,
assessment-anchored coaching and other individual-level interventions (p. 986).
The International Coach Federationwhich is one of the largest global coaching
organizations serving all coaches (life, career, executive, etc.)has developed a code of
ethics and competencies for coaches, and it certifies training programs. However, this
organization takes the stand that the field is best served when it reinforce[s] professional
coaching as a distinct and self-regulating profession (ICF, 2008).
The World Association of Business Coaches (WABC)whose mission is to
develop, advance, and promote the emerging profession of business coaching worldwideoffers help to prospective clients by providing information on selection and
the business coaching field in general. Membership in WABC requires five references
from coaching clients.
Generally speaking, more and more credentialing is available to coaches, but
certification requirements vary widely. Whats more, in research done by Underhill et al.
(2007), certification was not viewed as an important factor for choosing a coach.
In the Underhill research, leaders selected business experience and ability to establish
rapport as their top criteria in coach selection. Advanced degree and certification were
seen as minimally important, while cost came in last place. In interviews, leaders also
identified soft traits in coaches, such as having a sincere desire and commitment to
help, having adaptability and the right chemistry, being a good listener, becoming a
trusted advisor, and having the ability to challenge.
So, it appears that successful coaches are a highly diverse lot, making the perfect
background hard to describe or regulate. The most likely background of a coach
includes an advanced education degree in a people-related field such as industrial,
organizational, or clinical psychology; human resources; or leadership development.
But there is not one particular advanced degree for coaching. Some coaches have a
masters degree or Ph.D. in business, sociology, or other field (Underhill et al., 2007).
Leedham (2005) discusses the perceived importance of selection criteria in the
order of perceived importance to the purchaser. Six main themes or factors are said to
influence the selection of external coaches:
1. Evidence of having done similar coaching work previously;
2. Personal capability and relevant organizational experience;
3. The flexibility of the coach (in terms of techniques and willingness to work
with others);
4. A focus on delivering or improving business results;
5. Cost effectiveness;
6. Qualifications (including membership of professional bodies).

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

The number of organizations using internal coaches is expected to


grow as organizations learn how to select and utilize such coaches.

In practice, according to Banning (1997) and Smith (1993), a companys human


resources department, a supervisor, or a friend are among the most common ways of
finding a coach. Banning (1997) lists three important criteria in selecting a coach:
trustworthiness, compatible chemistry, and solid reputation.

Choosing Between External and Internal Coaches


Until recently, executive coaches were virtually always external to the organization
(Tyler, 2000). As coaching has matured and leadership development has been more
widely embraced, the number of managers receiving coaching has increased.
According to one recent survey, 16% of organizations rely on internal coaches
(Institute of Executive Development [IED], 2006). Significant price constraints and an
awareness of capability have raised the profile of internal coaches.
Internal coaching is defined as a one-on-one developmental intervention
supported by the organization and provided by a colleague of those coached who is
trusted to shape and deliver a program yielding individual professional growth
(Frisch, 2001). Team builders, organization effectiveness consultants (internal), and
trainers may engage in activities similar to those of internal coaches. However, because
they work with groups and define goals organizationally, those professionals do not fit
the definition of an internal coach.
Internal coaches have established themselves and proven their value in providing
coaching services in a variety of organizations in the past, including Teletech, IBM,
Intel, Scudder Kemper, Layne Christensen, Lehman Brothers, TIAA/CREF, State Street
Bank, and US Tobacco (Frisch, 2001).
The number of organizations using internal coaches is expected to grow as
organizations learn how to select and utilize such coaches. For example, 57% of
respondents in a recent survey indicated that they see the use of internal coaches
increasing, and another 40% plan to continue their current usage. However, most of
coaching provided to C-level executives still tends to come from external coaches
(Underhill et al., 2007).
So, how do companies choose between internal and external coaches? Of course,
internal coaches often provide lower cost of services, exhibit more consistency in
methods, and understand the organizational culture. They tend to offer more flexibility
and see leaders in action. However, they may also be perceived as less credible.
In one study, for example, 59% of leaders indicated a preference for an external
coach, while only 12% preferred an internal coach (29% had no preference)
(Underhill et al., 2007). Leaders may consider internal coaches to be less confidential.
External coaches, on the other hand, can bring greater objectivity, fresher perspectives,
5

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

higher levels of confidentiality, and experience in many different organizations,


industries, and business environments. External coaches may also have more
specialized skills or expertise in specific fields of practice (Underhill et al., 2007).

The Future of Coaching


There are conflicting views as to whether the market for coaching will continue to
increase. Maher and Pomerantz (2003) suggest that coaching has entered the maturity
phase in the U.S. They believe that the market is almost saturated, price competition is
increasing, and buyers of the service are becoming more discerning. In their review of
the history of coaching, Grant and Cavanaugh (2004) agree that the coaching industry
has reached a key point in its maturation. A Novations Group (2007) survey found
that more employers were decreasing their reliance on coaching rather than extending
their reliance on coaching.
Others believe the field will continue to grow. A recent Sherpa Global Coaching
Survey, co-sponsored by the Penn State Executive and Texas Christian University,
shows an expanding interest in coaching (Sherpa Coaching LLC, 2007). Experts such
as Marshall Goldsmith expect formal executive coaching to become aggressively
embedded in business environments of the future (IED, 2006). It may be that alternative
models such as internal coaching will lead to the expansion that Goldsmith and
others foresee.

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

The Factors That Influence


Coaching
There are a variety of factors, both internal
and external to the organization, that influence
coaching.

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 and a review of
the literature provide a look at these factors in terms that facilitate coaching and
which tend to hold it back. It should be noted that the data in this section refer to the
large survey sample made up primarily of North American respondents. Data on the
international sample are discussed in the Coaching from an International
Perspective section.

The State of Coaching


What Does Coaching Mean?
As noted in the literature review section of this report, the concept and purposes of
coaching have been evolving for several decades. In order to discuss the current state
of coaching and what drives it, however, we must first define it. For the purposes of
developing a survey, the AMA/Institute for Corporate
Productivity team defined coaching in a relatively conMAJOR FINDING
ventional way as a short- to medium-term relationCoaching continues to gain in popuship between a manager or senior leader and a consultlarity. Among respondents who say
ant (internal or external) with the purpose of
their organizations dont yet have
improving work performance (Douglas & McCauley,
coaching programs, over a third such
programs will be implemented in the
1999). This definition excludes coaching that is
future. And 57% of those with coachdesigned to improve quality of life outside of the work
ing programs say they use it more
arena. It also excludes peer coaching, although the surthan they did in the past.
vey did ask two questions that specifically dealt with
such coaching, as will be seen later in this section.
Another distinction that is important for understanding the results of this study
is the difference between coaching and mentoring. In recent years, there has been no
shortage of debate over the differences, real or imagined, between coaching and mentoring. Mentoring generally refers to the relationship between a senior, more experienced employee who helps a younger, less experienced employee navigate his or her
way to success in the organization (Kram, 1985). Very often, mentor and protg work
in the same organization. Mentoring tends to be informalcentering on career development, social support, and role modelingand is most intense at the early stages of
ones career (Donaldson et al., 2000). Coaching, however, is typically for a shorter and
more prescribed time period. It is contracted formally and is more likely to occur mid
career (Feldman & Lankau, 2005).
Is It Increasing or Decreasing?
Just over half (52%) of the respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate
Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 reported that they currently have coaching
programs in place in their organizations. Whats more, of the 48% that dont offer
coaching at this time, 37% plan to implement a coaching program in the future.

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Figure One

How long have your coaching programs existed?

33%

13%

Less than 1 year


1-3 years

34%

20%

3-5 years
More than 5 years

Of those that currently offer coaching, 87% have coaching programs that have
been operating more than one year, and 33% have programs that have existed for over
five years. These numbers suggest that the coaching field is still growing.
Its quite possible, however, that the coaching industry is maturing. After all,
the large majority of organizations with coaching programs have had them for over a
year, suggesting that they have made coaching a permanent part of their organizations
activity and budget.
Other evidence comes from The 2008 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey. That
report indicates growth in the number of coaches who say they are five-year veterans
in the field, while the number of new entrants to the coaching field is slowing.
Nonetheless, the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008
indicates that coaching is used more than in the past. Fully 57% of organizations with
coaching say they use it more than in the past, while just 11% say they use it less.
Figure Two

Which of the following statements best describes your organizations


use of coaching?

11%

We use coaching less


than in the past

57%

32%

We use coaching about


the same as in the past

We use coaching more


than in the past

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Is There a Relationship to Success?


Correlations do not necessarily imply causation, but an analysis of the AMA/Institute
for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 does indicate that respondents from
organizations that use coaching more than in the past are also more likely to report
two kinds of advantages:
1. Theyre more likely to report that their organizations have higher levels of
success in the area of coaching.
2. Theyre more likely to say that their organizations are performing well in the
market, as determined by self-reports in the combined areas of revenue
growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
There also seems to be a relationship between the extent to which individuals
receive coaching and their abilities in terms of leadership. That is, the survey found
that those who have received coaching were more likely than other respondents to
say that their subordinates trust their leadership abilities, and theyre more likely to
say that they set specific goals for performance at work.
How Is It Done and How Long Does It Take?
The majority (58%) of respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
survey say that coaching sessions in their organizations are carried out face-to-face,
but a large portion (37%) say that such sessions are conducted via a combination of
methods, such as face-to-face, over the phone, and via Web-based technologies.
Theres considerably less agreement, however, on the average duration of the
typical coaching arrangement. While nearly a quarter of respondents say coaching
arrangements in their organizations last no more than three months, 30% say such
arrangements can last six months to a year, and nearly a fifth say they last over a year.
Figure Three

What is the average duration of a typical


coaching arrangement?

18%
24%

0-3 months
3-6 months

30%
28%

6-12 months
Over 1 year

10

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Its interesting to note that the longer an arrangement lasts, the more highly associated
it is with coaching success. On the other hand, given the potential costs of coaching
arrangements, theres no evidence that a longer duration is associated with a higher
return on investment.

How Common Is Peer Coaching?


The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 also asked
respondents about their usage of peer coaching. As the survey noted, Peer-to-peer
coaching was developed as an economical way to offer coaching to midlevel and
high-potential leaders. The essence of peer coaching is that each participant acts as
both coach and coachee to a partner within the organization to improve growth
and development.
The survey found that about half of responding organizations use peer coaching.
However, only about a third of respondents (32%) considered peer coaching to be
very effective or extremely effective. This suggests that most organizations have yet to
determine how to reap maximum benefit from their peer-coaching programs.

The Internal Reasons Organizations Use Coaching


The literature often states that leadership development is seen as the primary purpose
of coaching. To test this, the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity survey asked
respondents about the purpose of their coaching programs.
Figure Four

To what extent does your organization use coaching


for the following purposes?*
79%

To improve individual performance/productivity


63%

To address leadership development/succession planning

60%

To increase individual worker skill levels

56%

To improve organizational performance


44%

To address specific workplace problems

41%

To boost employee engagement

38%

To improve retention rates


To improve performance of employees
whose supervisor is being coached
To improve recruitment outcomes

26%
24%

*Percent using coaching frequently or a great deal for this purpose.

11

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Improving Individual Productivity


The survey found that, although leadership development is among the top two reasons for using coaching, the desire to improve individual performance/productivity
is actually the most widely cited purpose. There is, of course, clearly some
overlap among these purposes. After all, organizations develop leaders not for leaderships sake but for the purpose of improving both individual and organizational performance. Individual performance, productivity, and development, however, seem to
be the higher priorities.
Other literature supports the coaching/performance link. For example, management strategist and author Florence M. Stone (2007) notes that heightened productivity is one of several benefits attained through coaching interventions. Employers will value cost reductions and greater
MAJOR FINDING
profits associated with coached employees who respond
The desire to improve individual
productively to appropriate praise, clarified work objectives,
performance/productivity is the
and strategies on how to exhibit special talents. Stone says
most widely cited purpose behind
coaching can also remove the element of surprise from percoaching.
formance reviews for coached employees who have already
been apprised of their strengths and weaknesses. And manager/coaches with good
people skills will likely get credit for allaying workplace friction that often slows organizational productivity.
Six out of ten participants in the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
survey also chose increasing individual worker skill level as the reason their
organizations used the services of executive coaches either frequently or a great deal.
These results offer support to some previous studies. Joo (2005), for example, states
that the most fundamental purposes of coaching are directed at skills and behaviors
that must occur at the individual level: behavioral change, self-awareness, and learning.
Improving Organizational Performance
About 56% of respondents reported using coaching either frequently or a great deal of
the time in order to improve organizational performance. Why does organizational
performance take a backseat to individual performance?
There are two primary reasons. First, coaching tends to be aimed at individuals
rather than groups, separating it from many other types of training and development.
Second, Feldman and Lankau (2005) argue that improvements in organizational
performance only take place once a large number of employees have received coaching.
Before organizational performance reflects positive changes due to coaching, a coaching
culturein which coaching is widely utilized and strongly supported by top
managementmust exist.
Addressing Workplace Problems
About 44% percent of respondents cited addressing specific workplace problems as
the reason why their companies frequently use coaching. Although this is a substantial
group of responses, this number has probably declined in recent years.
The 2008 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey reports that, in coachings early days,
12

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

coaching was used primarily as a tool to deal with an executive who wasnt meeting
expectations. As a result, the thinking was that there must be something wrong or you
wouldnt need a coach. While the results of this survey confirm that coaching is still a
problem-solving mechanism, other purposes have usurped its previous prominence.

Boosting Employee Engagement


The past decade has also seen an explosion of research into the area of positive
psychology: the scientific study of what makes people function at their best and
experience fulfillment and well-being (Hall, 2005). Positive psychology emphasizes
what is working, what one does well, and how to do it better, instead of discussions of
weakness and limitations. Employees who receive coaching are often successful senior
leaders who are facing career challenges as a result of organizational or industry
changes. Many experts agree that a plan to capitalize on executives strengthswhat
got them to positions of prominence in the first placeis more useful than to focus
on shortfalls (Buckingham & Clifton, 2001).
So, it is not so surprising that boosting employee engagement is cited by about
41% of respondents as the purpose for which their organizations use coaching.
Clearly, the stigma of coaching as a consequence for poor performance is changing,
as evidenced by the fact that almost as many respondents view coaching as an
engagement tool as they do a way to address workplace problems.
Improving Retention Rates and Recruitment Outcomes
Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that their organizations use coaching
frequently or a great deal as a way to improve retention rates, while 24% say coaching is
used in their companies to improve the outcome of the recruitment process. As
employees increasingly value training and development as portable and highly valuable
job perks, the promise of executive coaching becomes more significant. Companies are
betting on the premise that the opportunity to work with an experienced coach will
convince desired recruits to accept a job offer and star performers to stay on.

External Factors That Influence Coaching


Standards and Certifications
As noted in the literature review, some experts believe that one of the biggest stumbling
blocks in embracing coaching is the uncertainty surrounding the credentials of
coaches. The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 clearly
shows that coaching certifications and accreditation are not the top criteria that
organizations use when selecting coaches.
Its easy to see why organizations do not yet want to rely too much on such
credentials. After all, there is no universally recognized accreditation entity that can
validate the hundreds of programs now accommodating aspiring coaches (Sherpa
Coaching LLC, 2007). The 2008 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey notes that coaching
still lacks a standardized body of knowledge that serves to guide the practice of
coaching (Sherpa Coaching LLC, 2008).
13

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Yet, coaching programs are going through a period of proliferation that could
improve the professionalism of coaching over the long run. The number of executive
coaching programsor executive education programsat Harvard, Northwestern,
Stanford, and Columbia rose 37% in just seven years, reaching 286 programs in 2005,
up from 211 programs in 1998, according to one recent report. This trend could bring
some structure to a profession that currently lacks definitive certification standards,
said executive coach Brenda Corbett. Such programs are attracting retired and laid-off
executives seeking income-generating second careers as well as seasoned coaches who
want to broaden their knowledge and skills (Eckberg, 2006).
Some experts believe that the International Coaching Federation (ICF) might
become the standard-bearer for accrediting global coaches. The ICF offers an
independent masters certificate accreditation program that requires 2,500 hours of
coaching (Nayar, 2006). But, although ICF is the oldest trade association offering
accreditation in coaching, The 2008 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey notes that
executive coaches support for it fell over the past two years, from 62% to 45%,
while support for university-based executive education programs continues to grow.
Other providers of coaching support include the Worldwide Association of Business
Coaches (WABC), the International Consortium of Coaching in Organizations
(ICCO), and the International Association of Coaching (IAC) (Sherpa Coaching
LLC, 2008).
It can also be argued, however, that the issue of credentialing is overemphasized.
Many clients in the corporate world seem uninterested in credentialing, notes Brian
O. Underhill, founder of CoachSource (Underhill & Koriath, 2005; Babcock, 2007).

The Global Business Environment


Rapid change in the global business environment is accelerating the use of coaching,
according to a report in Harvard Management Update. Traditional management
approaches, analysts say, cant cope with todays faster-paced business processes.
Todays executives have to deal with peer relationships and greater workplace diversity,
which require a more complex skill set than managing up and down does, says
executive coach Catherine Fitzgerald.
Some experts think coaching is the most convenient and flexible way for leaders
to come up the learning curve quickly enough to handle the competition and speed of
global business cycles. Executives excessive time demands render other training
models obsolete (Keller Johnson, 2007).
Jessica Jarvis (2005), a training advisor with the Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development, says fever-pitched global competition is driving radical organizational
restructuring that calls for highly specialized staff support, rapid shifts to new skill
sets, and just-in-time training, all of which suggest the need for effective coaching
interventions. Meanwhile, attitudes within the labor force are also changing. Lifelong
learning, which is a contemporary cultural phenomenon, resonates well with both
coaching and mentoring, as does the heightened interest in personal responsibility for
self-development. The medias preoccupation with coaching has further intensified
public interest, says Jarvis.
14

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Hindrances to Coaching
Despite the potential advantages of coaching, it doesnt always have desired impact.
The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 asked participants
if they had ever terminated the contract of an external coach prior to the end of the
contracts term or if they had specifically made a determination not to use a particular
coach for future assignments. Nearly one-quarter of respondents (24%) indicated
they had, indeed, terminated coaching assignments. Figure Five shows the reasons
respondents gave for terminating those relationships.
Figure Five

To what extent do you agree that the termination was based on


the following reasons?*
Mismatches between coach and employee

65%
53%

Questionable expertise of coaches


42%

Inability of employee to change


ROI not easily measureable
Unwillingness of employee to engage in the
coaching process

39%
37%

Lack of time for employees participation

33%

Insufficient funding

33%

Not seen as urgent by top management

33%

*Percent agreeing or strongly agreeing.

Mismatches Between Coach/Employee


Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents to this question said they agreed or strongly
agreed that mismatches between the coach and the employee caused them to terminate coaching assignments, making it the top barrier to a successful experience.
But some organizations have found ways to avoid such mismatches. At Hartford
Financial Services Group, Inc., for example, executives
can interview and then make the most appropriate selecMAJOR FINDING
tion from a pool of three prescreened coaches. And at the
The top reason cited for
National Clandestine Service (NCS) of the Central
terminating a coaching assignIntelligence Agency, a detailed questionnaire, similar to
ment was a mismatch between
those used by dating services, helps with coach selection
the coach and the employee.
(Babcock, 2007).

15

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Questionable Expertise of Coaches


Another top reason for halting coaching was the questionable expertise of coaches,
with 53% of respondents indicating that they agreed or strongly agreed that such
doubts were behind their actions.
Perhaps this can be linked back to the lack of standards in the coaching arena,
which have been documented above. Some argue that this has slowed the development
of solid coaching programs. The coaching field has become swamped with cowboy
operators who often lack both skills and credentials, according to a study by
consultancy Chiumento and Personnel Today (Paton, 2007).
The Difficulty of ROI
About four in 10 respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
Coaching Survey 2008 agreed or strongly agreed that two other reasons were behind
the termination of coaching assignments: the inability of certain employees to change
(42%) and the difficulty of measuring return on investment (ROI) (39%).
Resistance to change is, of course, relatively common in organizations and is already
well-documented in change-management literature. But the subject of the ROI of
coaching is less well understood and continues to be a subject of debate in the
coaching literature.
Its interesting to note that, out of the various factors causing the termination of
coaching arrangements, the strongest negative correlation was associated with the
notion that the ROI of coaching is not easily measurable. That is, the more respondents
said that coaching was terminated because of difficulty in measuring ROI, the less
likely they were to report overall success in coaching at their company. This suggests
there might be a significant upside to being able to measure the ROI in organizations.
So far, however, the literature indicates that relatively few organizations have formal
procedures in place to measure coachings success. McCormick (2007) polled 500
readers of Personnel Today and reports that 67% of respondents say their organizations
dont measure coaching ROI and an additional 20% say they simply dont know if
coaching outcomes are measured. Furthermore, not only are formal measurement
systems not yet in place, many companies (some of which have used executive coaches
for years) arent even sure what they would measure if they had to. In fact, 44% of
respondents in McCormicks study (2007) believe it is impossible to measure the ROI
of coaching at all, and, if their organizations must measure it, then anecdotal evidence
of its effectiveness is all thats possible.
Sherman and Freas (2004) explain why this thinking is popular. Unlike most
business processes, which tend to reduce information to abstractions, executive coaching
engages people in customized ways that acknowledge and honor their individuality. It
helps people know themselves better, live more consciously and contribute more
richly. The essentially human nature of coaching is what makes it workand also
what makes it nearly impossible to quantify.
That said, some experts believe that organizations are making progress in the
area of quantifying the results of coaching. While measuring the feel good factor
may be the easiest method to administer and tabulate, there is little evidence that this
16

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

leads to changed behavior and improvements in the bottom line (Sparrow, 2006).
As a result, more sophisticated measurement techniques are gaining ground. Typically,
these methods involve estimating the impact of coaching on at least one business area
(such as the total value of resolving an issue). Both the financial and non-monetary
benefits must be identified and estimated.
Another way to track the benefits (or lack thereof) associated with coaching is
through the use of assessments. Assessments conducted at the beginning of a coaching
program help focus the goal-setting process, and readministering the same assessment
at a later date can determine the extent to which progress was made.
Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree feedback, for example, has become almost
synonymous with coaching programs. Assessments that compare self-perceptions and
the perceptions of others can provide invaluable information for the employee who
needs a better understanding of how his or her behavior affects others (Nowack, 2007).
Other assessmentssuch as ones that measure personality, interests, values, and
healthcan also be used. The critical lesson for coaches is to administer these assessments in a pre- and post-test format. Otherwise, it is impossible to tease out whether
it was coaching or some other factor that was responsible for the assessment scores.

Negative Attitudes Toward Coaching


Respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008
cited other reasons for terminating coaching arrangements, too, but these were chosen
to a lesser extent than the aforementioned reasons. These responses included the
unwillingness of the employee to engage in the coaching process, a lack of time for
the employees participation, the fact that coaching was not seen as urgent by top
management, and insufficient funding.
The wider literature on coaching also shows that a degree of skepticism concerning
coaching remains in todays organizations. Employee misconceptions regarding the
purpose and nature of coaching can create challenges for HR, according to Gary Cohen,
president of CO2 Partners, a leadership development firm. Lack of understanding
about the fruits of coaching, says Cohen, provokes unfounded apprehension among
employees that coaching either reflects badly on job performance or, alternatively, is
appropriate only for fast-tracking high potentials. Further, many employees erroneously
view coaching as a nonbusiness-related therapeutic tool or as a disagreeable process of
coercion; others want to hide coaching arrangements in order to cover embarrassment
(How to Overcome, 2007).
Although many HR professionals believe in the value of coaching, according to
the 2007 Sherpa Global Coaching Survey, the credibility of coaching fares less well.
More than one-third of the HR professionals surveyed (34%) considered coachings
credibility to be mediocre, low or very low, and around half (53%) were willing to
say its credibility was somewhat high (Sherpa Coaching LLC, 2007). While the 2008
Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey noted improvement in the credibility of coaching,
it still concluded that coachings credibility is much lower than its perceived value
(Sherpa Coaching LLC, 2008).
17

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Adopting State-of-the-Art
Coaching Practices
What does it mean to be state-of-the-art in the
field of coaching? Because it can be difficult to
measure the ROI of coaching and because its a
field that continues to change quickly, its difficult
to pin down exactly what best-in-class coaching
looks like. Moreover, the success of coaching in any
organization will depend on factors that are hard
to standardize, such as corporate culture, attitudes
toward coaching, and the qualifications of coaches
who are hired.

18

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Nonetheless, this section will present some of the characteristics of coaching programs
that arebased on survey results, interviews, and the broader literatureassociated
with coaching success. In addition, the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity team
will highlight how the various coaching strategies relate to a market performance index,
comprised of revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Again, it is important to note that the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
team used a fairly strict definition of executive coaching: short- to medium-term
relationships between managers/senior leaders and a coach (internal or external) that
had, as their primary purpose, to improve work performance.
It should also again be noted that the information in this section, and the
subsequent analysis, is based on the large survey sample made up primarily of North
American respondents. Data in the international sample is focused on in the
Coaching from an International Perspective chapter of this report.

Have a Clear Reason for Using Coaching


In the preceding section, we discussed the most common purposes behind the adoption
of coaching programs (see Figure Four). Another important finding from the study
was that each of the various purposes for coaching was significantly correlated to the
success of coaching.

Figure Six

To what extent does your organization use coaching


for the following purposes?
Responses

Correlation with
Coaching Success

To improve individual performance/productivity

.40**

To address leadership development/succession planning

.33**

To increase individual worker skill levels

.23**

To improve organizational performance

.35**

To address specific workplace problems

.20**

To boost employee engagement

.25**

To improve retention rates

.24**

To improve performance of employees whose supervisor is being coached

.18**

To improve recruitment outcomes

.19**

** significant at p<.001

19

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

In other words, the more a company has a clear reason


MAJOR FINDING
for using a coach, the more likely that its coaching process will
The more a company has a clear
be viewed as successful. For example, the strongest correlation
reason for using a coach, the
was found between improving individual performance and
more likely that its coaching
coaching success, meaning that organizations that strongly
process will be viewed as
indicated that they used coaches as a means to improve the
successful.
productivity of individual employees also tended to report
more success with their coaching programs. The fact that
each of the purposes was significantly correlated with coaching success suggests that
organizations that simply have a well-defined purpose are more likely to report
coaching success than those organizations that arent sure what their purposes in
coaching are.
However, only two of the purposesto improve leadership development/succession
planning and to improve retention rateswere significantly correlated to improvements
in market performance (as measured by self-reports in the areas of revenue growth,
market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction). According to Collins (2001) in
the management best-seller Good to Great, improvements in both leadership development and retention rates are essential in getting the right people on the bus, which is
a consistent precursor to improvements in gaining a competitive advantage in the
marketplace.

Use Coaching to Help the Right People


According to a review of the coaching literature, there are four main groups of
employees who are consistently on the receiving end of executive coaching: high
potentials, problem employees, executives, and expatriates. The reasons for seeking
coaching probably differ depending on which group is being coached.
Figure Seven

To what extent does your organization use coaching


for the following groups?
Responses

Percent Choosing
a Lot or a Great Deal

High Potentials

60%

Executives
Expatriates
Problem Employees

42%
7%
37%

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

.34**

.12

.26**

.09

.16%

.19**

.10

.01

** significant at p<.001

20

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

An analysis of the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey


2008 showed that the largest percentage of respondents (60%) report that their
organization uses coaching either a lot or a great deal for high potentials. Just over
41% of organizations report using coaching frequently or a great deal for executives.
These findings are supported by some other sources.
Jarvis (2006), for example, suggests that most coaching is
MAJOR FINDING
provided to high-performing middle managers and junior
Using coaching for the developmanagers on the fast track, while executive coaching
ment of high potentials, execualthough the topic of much media attentionin reality
tives, and expatriates was found
to have significant correlations
occurs less frequently.
with coaching success.
Problem employees were cited as the recipients of
coaching frequently or a great deal of the time by 37% of
respondents. As mentioned earlier, many of the earliest coaching programs dealt
exclusively with under-performing employees as an attempt to save a career. Now,
however, it is more likely to be seen as a way to groom talented but untested young
managers or to help executives build on existing strengths.
In our survey, the group least frequently reported to be the recipient of executive
coaching were expatriates. Only 7% of respondents reported this group received
coaching either frequently or a great deal. This number is surprisingly low given that
55% of our sample was either a global or multinational organization.

Correlations
Using coaching for the development of high potentials, executives, and expatriates was
found to have significant correlations with coaching success. In other words, the more
coaching is used for each of those groups, the more likely it is for companies to report
success with their coaching programs.
However, when problem employees are the primary
group receiving coaching, there is no consistent relationship
MAJOR FINDING
with coaching success. This finding could be because most
Directing coaching programs
coaching interventions occur too late after the employees
toward expatriates is signifiproblems have been identified to produce significant
cantly correlated with market
performance.
change or because management is only using coaching to
appear concerned and helpful, yet it is actually a way to
document low performance and pave the way for dismissal. Maybe problem employees are not perceived as benefiting from coaching to the same extent as high potentials, executives, and expatriates.
Finally, our results show that only when a coaching program is directed toward
expatriates is there a significant correlation with market performance (r=.19). As suggested by a SHRM 2006 Case Study on Repatriation, the entire expatriation process is
one that is expensive and yet often results in (1) the failure of the expatriate to remain
abroad for the contracted length of service or (2) a tendency to quit once he or she
has returned to the home country. Correlation is not causation, of course, but one
interpretation of these results is that market indicators are sensitive to organizational
attempts to improve the expatriation process, which could potentially save the cost of
losing talented employees.

21

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Select Coaches the Right Way


Theres little doubt that selecting coaches can be a difficult task. As noted in a previous
section of this report, no consensus exists regarding what background or specific skills
a coach should possess. In fact, todays coaches come from an unusually wide variety
of backgrounds. Although the divergence in backgrounds is not necessarily a problem,
it does make consumers of coaching services cautious regarding the level and consistency
of quality they can expect.
With respect to selection of coaches, the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
Coaching Survey 2008 findings are consistent with what one would expect given the
unregulated nature of the coaching industry. The five most common criteria by which
coaches are selected are the following: business experience (with 68% saying they
use this criteria frequently or a great deal), recommendations from a trusted source
(59%), interview with the prospective coach (54%), consulting experience (52%),
and validated client results (48%).
For each of these methods, the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of
the organization looking for a coach to sift through disparate pieces of information.
Such companies must try to make sense of all the data in order to choose the best
coach for their employees.

Figure Eight

To what extent do you use the following criteria when


selecting coaches?
Responses

Percent Choosing
Frequently or a
Great Deal

Business experience

68%

Recommendations from
a trusted source

59%

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation
with Market
Performance

.17**

.19**

.18**

.06

Interview with the prospective coach

54%

.24**

.08

Consulting experience

52%

.17**

.13**

.21**

.08

.18**

.06

Validated client results

48%

Coaching certifications

33%

Accreditation

29%

.16**

.05

University degrees in applicable field

28%

.15**

.04

.07

.11

.11

.16**

Counseling or therapy experience


Ph.D.

24%
10%

** significant at p<.001

22

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Less frequently used criteria for selecting coaches include coaching certifications
(33%), accreditation (29%), counseling or therapy experience (24%), having a university
degree in an applicable field (28%), and, in a distant last place, having a Ph.D. (10%).
Given the lower frequency for these selection criteria, it appears that organizations are
not yet convinced that there is consistent value to be found simply via certification,
accreditation, or other educational programs.
Will this change in the future? Theres no consensus on this question, but Laff
(2007) anticipates that certification will become expected, if not required, for new
entrants to the coaching field. For example, NASA has determined it will only contract
with certified coaches.
For the moment, however, coaching experts argue that until the field maps out
authoritative guidelines for coaching certification programs, executives in search of
coaches must chart their own course (Sherman & Freas, 2004). And, what the
AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity survey results suggest is that, since these
guidelines are currently unavailable, organizations are sticking with selection criteria
they are familiar withnamely, years of coaching experience, recommendations from
an executives personal network, or direct interviews with the prospective coach.

Correlations
To date, only a handful of research studies have analyzed the relationship between
selection criteria and the success of the coaching program. This study attempts to shed
light on this subject by assessing the significance of the relationship between each of
the selection criteria and the extent to which companies report that their coaching
programs have been successful.
Our findings suggest that, while numerous criteria are significantly associated with coaching success, having an interview
MAJOR FINDING
with the prospective coach has the strongest relationship with
Having an interview with the
reporting a successful coaching program. In other words, comprospective coach has the
panies that take the time to conduct interviews with applicants
strongest relationship with
for coaching positions are most likely to report success with
reporting a successful coaching
their coaching programs. We suspect that when organizations
program.
hire coaches, especially several at a time, from large consulting
firms or universities, individual interviews may not occur. As a result, much about the
coachs ability to fit with the organizations culture and goals is left to chance. Also,
scheduling an interview gives the hiring organization a specific time and place in the
selection process to check coaches references, credentials, and experience (Jarvis, 2004).
Both business and consulting experience are also significantly related to the
reported success of coaching programs. This data suggests that when business and/or
consulting experience are the basis of selection decisions, companies are more likely to
report success with their coaching programs overall. In addition, unlike the other
selection criteria, business and consulting experience were both significantly related to
market performance.

23

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

One last interesting finding here is that, although Ph.D.s were not viewed as
correlated with coaching success, they were correlated with market performance success.
One possible reason for this is that Ph.D.s bring a level of expertise to a field that has
very low barriers to entry. Holding coaching experience constant, by hiring a Ph.D. in
management, the hiring organization is capitalizing on an understanding of academic
research and methods that non-Ph.D.s may not possess. This difference may bring
about individual and organizational changes in a more substantial way, which is
recognized by market indicators.

Be a Matchmaker
In some companies, assigning coaches is a distinct activity that follows the selection
process. Alternatively, it may be somewhat of an iterative process, whereby the coach is
selected only after several meetings have confirmed that there is a good coaching
match in the organization for that particular coach. Either way, coaching experts are
adamant that both time and money are wasted when organizations fail to spend time
on the front end matching clients with coaches.
Figure Nine

To what extent do you use the following criteria to match coaches


with employees?
Responses

Percent of Respondents
Choosing Frequently or
a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Gender

7.6%

.16**

Approximate age

6.1%

.18**

Personality
Coaches expertise or issue to be solved

45.5%

.22**
73.7%

.19**

** significant at p<.001

Survey participants were asked to what extent their organizations used certain
criteria to match coaches with coachees. By far, the most frequent basis for matching
was the area of the coachs expertise. Almost three-quarters of our respondents (74%) said matching decisions
MAJOR FINDING
were based on finding a coach with the right expertise to
Matching the right coach with
address specific issues.
the right client is associated with
The match between the personalities
higher success rates. Matching
people according to expertise
of coach and coachee is another important factor that
and personality seem to be both
respondents identified45.5% use personality as a
the best and most commonly
matching criterion frequently or a great deal of the time.
used strategies.
Other literature about coaching supports this finding.

24

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity respondents appear to use age and


gender only rarely to make matching decisions; both were used less than 8% of the time.
Apparently, respondents truly are not concerned about the age or gender of their coaches
or are trying to sidestep possible Title VII issues by avoiding these criteria altogether.

Correlations
The strongest correlations were found between coaching expertise and coaching success
and between personality and coaching success. In general, this suggests that companies
that match based on the coachs expertise or based on complementary personalities
are more likely to report successful coaching programs. Matching based on age and
gender was also significantly correlated with coaching success, but to a slightly lesser
degree. It is unclear from our data whether the preference was the same or opposite
for gender pairings.

Know When an External Versus an Internal Coach


Is Most Effective
There are some important differences between internal and external coaches. External
coaches are typically less wired-in to the organizations politics and focus less on being
a spokesperson for their coachee. And while external coaches certainly arent expected
to display behaviors inconsistent with the hiring organizations values, role-modeling
is less a part of their job description than that of an internal coach.
Another important difference between internal and external coaches is that the
coaching role may be just a portion of the internal coachs job description. Given the
fees charged by external coachesan estimated $245 per hour on averageusing an
internal coach might result in significant cost advantages (SHERPA Executive
Coaching Survey, 2008).
However, experts seem to agree that, despite the higher costs, there are times
when calling in an external coach is warranted. Battley (2007) suggests that the higher
an employee rises in the organization, the more difficult it becomes for him or her to
receive unfiltered information about performance. Therefore, an outsider might be
the best choice to address sensitive performance or personality issues. Additionally,
when an employee is frustrated and considering jumping ship, an external coach can
view the situation from a more objective perspective and handle sensitive information
with a greater assurance of confidentiality. Battley (2007) also points out that an external
coach is needed when an organization is growing rapidly and no current employees
are available to make the investment of time into coaching.
To gain a better understanding of how organizations use internal and external
coaches, respondents to the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey
2008 were asked which employees in their organizations receive coaching from an
external coach and an internal coach.

25

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Figure Ten

In your company, how often are external and internal coaches hired
to work with the following groups?
External Coaches
Responses

Percent Choosing
Frequently or a
Great Deal

Executivess

42%

Managers

27%

Supervisors
All Employees

13%
5%

Internal Coaches

Correlation with
Coaching Success
.22**

Percent Choosing
Frequently or a
Great Deal
28%

Correlation with
Coaching Success
.05

.24**

46%

.08

.23**

47%

.19**

.24**

43%

.16**

** significant at p<.001

Our results show that external coaches are hired most often to work with
executives (42% of respondents say that this occurs frequently or a great deal in their
organizations). External coaches are significantly less likely to work with managers
(27%) or supervisors (13%).
Internal coaches, on the other hand, are almost equally likely to work with
managers as they are supervisors (46% vs. 47%). Internal coaches are significantly less
likely to work with executivesonly 28% of respondents said that executives in their
organization used internal coaches frequently or a great deal of the time. Additionally,
while internal coaches were assumed to coach employees at all levels of the organization
(43%), external coaches only received a 5% on this same question.

Correlations
Working with an external coach is significantly related to
MAJOR FINDING
a successful coaching experience, regardless of the
Working with an external coach
coachees level in the organization. Using an internal
is significantly related to a
coach, however, seems to be significantly related to
successful coaching experience,
coaching success only when it is used for supervisors or
regardless of the coachees level
all employees. Our results seem consistent with the prein the organization.
vailing literature on this subject. Employees at the top of
the organization place a high value on confidentiality
confidentiality that may only be possible with an external coach. Additionally, a party
external to the organization may be more willing than peers or subordinates to deliver
painfully honest feedback to a high-level employee and go on to develop a goaldirected plan of action.
Internal coaches, on the other hand, seem to be most effective when aimed at
the supervisor level or below. Perhaps this is because internal coaches are more cost
effective for the large numbers of employees at these levels and because theyre already
familiar with and better able to model the values of the organization and understand
its culture.
26

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Consider External Training Methods for Internal Coaches


As noted before, the literature on and debate about coaching certifications has grown
in recent years, but much less is known about the standards required for internal
coaches. Given this gap in the literature, the AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
Coaching Survey 2008 asked participants about the extent to which several different
training methods were used for internal coaches specifically.
Figure Eleven

To what extent does your organization use the following methods


to train internal coaches?
Responses

Percent Choosing
Quite a Bit or
Extensively

Training courses aimed at teaching people how to coach

34%

Correlation
with Coaching
Success
.40**

Other existing internal coaches to train new coaches

27%

.33**

Send potential coaches to external development programs

27%

.23**

Hire external coaches to teach internal personnel how to coach


E-learning system that helps people learn to coach

19%
9%

.35**
.20**

** significant at p<.001

There are several interesting findings from this question. First, none of these
methods of training internal coaches is used to a high degree by a majority of
respondents. Its apparent that such training simply isnt commonplace yet in todays
organizations, despite the growth of the coaching concept. This is despite the fact that
most of the methods of training internal coaches are
correlated with coaching success.
MAJOR FINDING
The most frequently used methods include offerExternally based methods of
ing
training
courses aimed at teaching coaching skills,
providing training are most
using existing internal coaches to train new coaches, and
strongly correlated with overall
sending potential coaches to external development procoaching success, though they
grams. Hiring external coaches to teach internal personare less often used.
nel how to coach was less often used, and only 9% of
respondents reported quite a bit or extensive use of e-learning systems to help people
learn how to coach. These findings suggest that many organizations could do considerably more to develop excellent coaching skills.

Correlations
Another interesting finding is that the internally based methods of providing training
were less strongly correlated with overall coaching success than were the externally
based methods, even though the internally based methods are more commonly used.

27

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Its not clear, however, why certain methods are used more frequently, though its
likely that in-house methods are viewed as less expensive.
These findings suggest that organizations that want to train internal coaches
should consider searching externally for price-competitive and well-recognized coaching
programs. At the very least, these results represent an interesting opportunity for further
research in the area of coaching.

Dont Disconnect Coaching from Other T&D Initiatives


There are several different ways organizations can use coaching. They can view it as a
stand-alone activity that is virtually unrelated to other types of training and learning
programs, they can make it the primary activity of a training program, or they can
integrate it as part of a T&D program.
The most commonly used method of coaching is to make it an integrated part
of a T&D program. The good news is that this method is also the one most highly
correlated with reported coaching success. Making coaching a stand-alone activity is,
however, not correlated with success. This suggests thatdespite the difference
between coaching and many other types of training programsthe wisest course of
action is to view coaching as part of a larger development process.
Figure Twelve

To what extent does your organization use coaching in the


following ways?
Responses

Percent Choosing
Frequently or a
Great Deal

As an integrated part of a training or development program

57%

As the primary activity of a training or development program


As a stand-alone activity unrelated to a training
or development program

38%
30%

Correlation
with Coaching
Success
.36**
.24**
.02

** significant at p<.001

Measure the Outcome of Coaching Programs


A previous section of this report discussed the difficulty of measuring coachings ROI.
The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008 sheds further light
on the subject. It shows that, on the one hand, a sizable proportion of organizations
do, in fact, use various methods to measure coaching success. On the other hand, it
indicates that determining the bottom-line impact of coaching remains a relatively
rare practice.

28

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Figure Thirteen

To what extent does your organization measure the success of its


coaching programs in the following ways?
Responses

Correlation
Percent Choosing
Correlation with with
Market
Quite a Bit or Extensively Coaching Success Performance

Individual performance evaluations

61%

(e.g., 360-degree performance appraisal)

Increase in individual productivity

54%

.29**

.06

.32**

.11

Satisfaction with program

49%

.30**

.01

Increase in individual assessment tool


scores (e.g., emotional intelligence)

49%

.29**

.11

Impact on engagement

32%

.32**

.02

Impact on retention

30%

.29**

.04

Bottom-line impact on the business

25%

.30**

.17**

Performance of the employees whose


supervisor is being coached

23%

.21**

.14*

.24**

.08

Impact on recruitment

15%

* significant at p<.05
** significant at p<.001

Individual performance evaluations (61%), individual productivity (54%), and


individual assessment tool scores (49%) were each methods used quite a bit or extensively
by survey respondents. It is encouraging to see this much
measurement activity in light of the fact that some other
MAJOR FINDING
studies indicate that relatively few firms measure coaching.
The more frequently respondents
However, just because evaluations and/or assessments
reported using a measurement
show improvement in individual performance, it doesnt
method, the more likely they were
mean that enough information is available to determine
to report success in their coaching
whether coaching was ultimately cost effective (i.e., was
programs.
the expense of coaching worth the increase in desired
outcomes?). Only by using the more sophisticated ROI measurements is it possible
to answer this question.
The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity study found that only about a quarter of respondents assess coachings bottom-line impact on the business to a high extent,
but even this might represent an uptick in such practices, based on previous reports.

Correlations
If you believe that what gets measured, gets done, then the significant correlations
between measurement and coaching success shouldnt be a surprise. For each one of the
measurement options, there was a significant relationship with reported coaching success.

29

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

As the coaching industry matures, we believe that identifying how


various organizations collect and use coaching metrics will become an
increasingly important activity in the future.

In other words, the more frequently respondents reported using a measurement


method, the more likely they were to report success in their coaching programs. The
strongest association with coaching success was found when individual productivity
and engagement were measured.
Also noteworthy is the significant correlation
MAJOR FINDING
between two of the measurement methods and improved
The strongest association with
market performance. Specifically, measuring how coachcoaching success was found
ing impacts the bottom line and measuring the performwhen individual productivity and
ance of the employees whose supervisor is being coached
engagement were measured.
were both significantly related to improvements in market performance.
As the coaching industry matures, we believe that identifying how various
organizations collect and use coaching metrics will become an increasingly important
activity in the future.

30

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Coaching from an
International Perspective
In the preceding sections we discussed the most
commonly used coaching practices and highlighted
those which are associated with successful coaching
and improved market performance. In this section,
we discuss many of the same issues but from an
international perspective.

31

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

As with the North American sample, the international sample reported


that improving individual performance was the most commonly cited
reason for using coaching.

This sample consists of 176 respondents who represent organizations from a variety
of countries around the globe, though primarily from Europe and the Middle East.
The intent of this portion of the study is to understand what is occurring in the global
coaching arena and whether it is similar to the North American coaching profile.
While the Appendix in this report presents the data from the international sample in
its entirety, the following sections present highlights and surprises from the data.

How Does Coaching Get Done Internationally?


Fifty-five percent of the international respondents have at least one formal coaching
program in place. In only about 20% of responding organizations have these programs
existed for more than five years. Most organizations (41%) say their coaching programs
have been in place between one and three years. While almost a quarter of the sample
have programs that began in the past year. Compared with the North American sample,
organizations in the international group have not had coaching programs in place for
as long, but more in this group plan to implement coaching
programs in the future (56% vs. 37%).
MAJOR FINDING
A majority of international respondents (63%) use
Compared with the North
coaching more than in the past and about a quarter of
American sample, organizations in
respondents report spending up to $25,000 on coaching per
the international group have not
year. Thirty-four percent report that coaching contracts
had coaching programs in place
occur most frequently over a three- to six-month period,
for as long, but more in this group
plan to implement coaching
while about 28% kept coaching relationships intact for six
programs in the future.
to twelve months. In the North American sample it was
about equally common to use a three- to six-month or a
six- to twelve-month time frame for coaching, 28% and 30%, respectively. Compared
with the North American sample, the international group conducts more coaching
sessions in person (80% vs. 58%). Neither of the samples is likely to use phone or Webbased technologies exclusively. North Americans are more likely to use a combination
of methods (37%) than the internationals (19%).

Whats the Goal of Coaching?


As with the North American sample, the international sample reported that improving
individual performance was the most commonly cited reason for using coaching.
And, both samples also chose leadership development and succession planning as the
next most common reason they engage in coaching.

32

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Figure Fourteen

To what extent does your organization use coaching for


the following purposes?
Responses

Percent of Respondents
Choosing Frequently or a
Great Deal

To improve individual performance or productivity

87%

To address leadership development &


succession planning

82%

Correlation
with Coaching
Success
.20
.00

To improve organizational performance

61%

.09

To increase individual worker skill levels

60%

.19

There is arguably a lot of overlap between these two purposes because one
aspect of leadership development could very well involve improving some aspect
of individual performance, such as strategic planning, communication skills, or
mentoring techniques.
Although the trends were in the same direction for
MAJOR FINDING
both samples, only the North American sample had sigAs with the North American
nificant positive correlations with coaching success.
sample, the international sample
There are at least two possible explanations for this. First,
reported that improving individual
its possible that coaching remains a less mature practice
performance was the most
internationally, as suggested by the previous section.
commonly cited reason for using
Perhaps positive correlations will appear as coaching
coaching.
becomes a more mature practice in those regions.
Second, its also possible that we could see significant correlations given a larger
international sample of respondents. Clearly, this is an important topic for future
researchers to explore.

Who Gets Selected to Be a Coach?


International respondents were asked about the extent to which they used various criteria
when selecting coaches. About 71% of organizations reported that a coachs business
experience was most widely used. Having an interview with a prospective coach and
receiving recommendations from a trusted source were both rated as used frequently
or a great deal by 59% of organizations. In fourth place is selecting a coach on the
basis of his or her consulting experience (58%). As was found to be true in North
America, selection of coaches is based more on an organizations ability and willingness
to carefully assess an applicants background and experience rather than on a degree
or a certification.
When multiple coaches are hired, one of the next questions becomes, How
should coaches be assigned to employees? Our results suggest that gender and age are
rarely the basis for that decision. However, alignment between the coachs expertise
and the problem to be solved was deemed important or very important 93% of the

33

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

time. Additionally, when matching coach and coachee was based on the coachs
expertise, the correlation with ultimate coaching success was positive and significant.
Another factor worth considering is the extent to which the coach and coachee
have compatible personalities. Two-thirds of respondents thought getting a fit
between personalities was a highly valuable exercise. These results follow the same
pattern as in the North American sample, with the international sample rating the
coachs expertise and personality as slightly more important criteria.

How Do Firms Use Internally and Externally Based Coaches?


As with the North American sample, external coaches are used most often for executives
and managers. Only 21% of international respondents say they hire external coaches
to work with supervisors frequently or a great deal of the time. However, as indicated
by the table below, when external coaches are used for executives, managers, or
supervisors, the correlation with coaching success is significant. However, very few
organizations use external coaches for employees at all levels of the organization.
When they do, there is no significant relationship with coaching success.

Figure Fifteen

In your company, how often are external coaches


hired to work with the following groups?
Responses

Correlation
Percent of Respondents Choosing with
Coaching
Frequently or a Great Deal
Success

Executives

54%

Managers
Supervisors
All employees

41%
21%
11%

.26*
.48**
.45**
.15

* significant at p<.05
** significant at p<.001

The results suggest that the higher up in the organization one is, the more likely
one is to have a coach from a source external to the organization. As one might suspect,
the reverse is true for internally based coaches. Their use is most popular among
supervisors, slightly less common for managers, and least common for executives.
These results are consistent across the international and North American samples.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

How Do They Develop Internal Coaches?


Developing a cadre of qualified internal coaches has not been a clear-cut path. When
our international respondents were asked about the methods they use to train internal
coaches, there was no method that was used overwhelmingly. The training method
used frequently or a great deal by 39% of respondents was training courses aimed at teaching people
MAJOR FINDING
how to coach.
Using existing external developHowever, it is important to note that only two
ment programs or bringing the
training methods were significantly associated with
experts in-house is more likely
coaching success: sending potential coaches to external
than other practices to be associdevelopment programs and hiring external coaches to
ated with coaching success.
teach internal personnel how to coach. This suggests
that, while it may be more cost effective initially for organizations to develop their
own training for coaches, it may be more effective to use existing external development programs or to bring the experts in-house.
An internally based coaching option that is growing in popularity is peer-to-peer
coaching. This method involves meetings between colleagues at any level of the
organization in which both participants voice their goals or struggles. Brainstorming
on potential solutions and a commitment to hold each other accountable are also
part of the process. Peer-to-peer coaching is used in 44% of respondents from the
international sample, only slightly lower than the 49% reported in the North American
group. When asked how effective this process has been, the results were less encouraging.
Only 30% of international respondents say peer-to-peer coaching has been very effective
or extremely effective in their organizations.

How Is Coaching Delivered and Whos Receiving It?


Almost two-thirds of international respondents use coaching as an integrated part of
a training or development program. Although about 40% of the time coaching is the
primary activity of these training and development initiatives, only 30% of the time is coaching described as a
MAJOR FINDING
stand-alone activity.
Consistent with the North
Consistent with the North American sample, the
American sample, the internainternational respondents reported using coaching most
tional respondents reported
frequently for high potentials (72% of respondents chose
using coaching most frequently
frequently or a great deal of the time). Executives were the
for high potentials.
recipients of coaching frequently or a great deal of the
time by about 42% of respondents. McDermott et al.
(2007) report that using coaches at the executive level creates a positive tone throughout
the organization and communicates that even high-performers are expected to improve.
Almost 30% of respondents say they use coaching for problem employees
frequently or a great deal, about seven percentage points less than the North American
sample. McDermott et al. found that when coaching is directed at problem employees,

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

...coaching tends to have the biggest positive impact on micro-level outcomes


such as developing future leaders and improving leadership behaviors and
individual employees performance (McDermott et al., 2007).

it is more effective if internal coaches are used. Using external coaches is often perceived
as highlighting the fact that an employee is performing poorly.
Too often, external coaches seem to be called in only when the employee was past
the point of no return. Using internal coaches, however, signals that the organization
is willing to invest the time and energy of its own people in supporting the
improvement efforts.
Expatriates are the recipients of the least coaching in both our international and
North American samples. Only 10% and 7%, respectively, report using coaching
frequently or a great deal for this category of employees. This is not to say that
expatriates dont receive coaching. They may receive a great deal of training, which
may involve specialized development initiatives similar to coaching. However, our
results suggest that when expatriates do receive coaching, there is a significant
relationship to improved market performance.

Are Coaching Metrics Always Associated with


Coaching Success?
As with the North American sample, results from the international respondents also
found that the measurement of coaching is, in fact, associated with improved
performance. The most frequently used measures of coaching success were improvements in individual performance evaluations and increases in individual productivity.
The data showed that using these measures was significantly correlated
to reported coaching success.
MAJOR FINDING
Much of the coaching literature supports these findings. That is,
Measuring changes in individual
coaching tends to have the biggest positive impact on micro-level outproductivity is the practice most
comes such as developing future leaders and improving leadership
highly correlated with reported
behaviors and individual employees performance (McDermott et al.,
coaching success.
2007).
But looking at coachings impact on the overall reported performance of the
organization (as opposed to performance of individuals) is also associated with
coaching success. That is, when the bottom-line impact that coaching has on the overall business is measured by participating companies, the correlation with
coaching success is strong and positive.

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When Do Coaching Relationships Fail?


About one-third of international respondents said they have terminated the contract
of a coach. Termination may involve either ending the coaching relationship earlier
than specified by the contract or failing to rehire for future coaching opportunities.
The most frequently cited reason for termination involved a mismatch between the
coach and employee. In fact, about 81% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed
that a mismatch was the reason behind the failed coaching experience. Given the frequency of termination based
MAJOR FINDING
on mismatches, it appears that spending time upfront
The most frequently cited reason
aligning the coachs skills with the coachees problem is
for termination involved a misa worthwhile investment of time.
match between the coach and
The second most commonly cited reason for teremployee.
mination was questionable expertise of the coach. The
frequency of this response suggests that to reduce the
likelihood that a coach will be terminated, attention needs to be directed to identifying
the problem or issue coaching is being used to address. Before hiring or assigning
coaches to employees, companies should decide what the primary purpose of the
coaching relationship is. Depending on whether it is to improve individual performance,
boost engagement, or address a succession problem, the skill set needed by the coach
may be quite different. The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity survey analysis
suggests that ignoring this step may lead to the establishment of a coaching relationship
that was destined for failure from the outset.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Strategy Forecast:
The State of Coaching
in the Year 2018
The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
survey on coaching clearly indicates that coaching
is continuing to grow as a corporate practice,
especially outside of North America. Although this
trend is likely to slow down over the course of the
next decade, its unlikely to reverse itself.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

The Need for Coaches Will Continue to Grow


The reasons for this are straightforward. As the Baby Boomer generation retires in the
U.S. and other nations, there will be a greater need for speed and effectiveness in
developing the next generation of leaders. Coaching is suited to fill this need as it
becomes more closely integrated into succession management and leadership
development. Also, coaching will be especially well-suited to handling the faster cycle
times and more diverse management challenges associated with global business.

Executive Coaching Will Mature as an Industry


Coaching will become less of a cottage industry that is made up mostly of individuals
or small groups of people who hang out their coaching shingles. It will move further
in the direction of credentialed professionals who are part of larger associations, many
of them either consulting groups or coaching agencies. These organizations will
frequently specialize in certain types of coaching. There will be, for example, firms
that specialize in providing coaches who help develop high-level managers in the fields
of law, finance, marketing, or manufacturing. Other organizations will have a wider
spectrum of coaches, including generalists who focus more on helping managers hone
their leadership and relationship-building skills. Those organizations will also have
specialists in fields such as global management, engagement, virtual leadership,
and the like.
This maturation process will reveal itself in the ways businesses use and contract
with coaching firms. There will be more standard contracts, vetting of credentials, and
ways of trying to determine the return on investment or, at the very least, return on
expectations. That is, there will be a systematic evaluation to determine whether
coaching relationships meet the expectations of all the major parties involved.

More Barriers to Entry Will Emerge


As the coaching industry matures, so will barriers to entry. More rigorous certifications
and assessments will emerge, at least for the subset of coaches who work in corporate
environments. As this occurs, there will be fewer people who work in the field who are
not qualified to be coaches. There will be complaints about artificial barriers to entering
the field, but this trend will be supported by coaching agencies as well as by the
corporations that use those agencies.
There will also be more reference checking among companies that use coaches
and more sharing of information about success rates. Associations with databases will
emerge to track and share information about the success rates of specific coaching firms.

Professional Coaches Will Market to More Midlevel Solutions


Coaching firms and individual coaches will, in the hope of achieving more dependable
cash flow, try to broaden their market by appealing to midlevel managers in companies.
This will not be cost effective, however, unless the rates charged for high-quality executive
coaching are reduced. Therefore, the per-coachee rate will go down for many
coaches even as the steadiness of work increases for many.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Peer and Internal Coaching Will Become More Established


and Well Managed
There will, however, be significant challenges associated with trying to reach the
midlevel managers in the coaching profession. One of these challenges will be peer
coaching. Today, the usage rates for peer coaching are fairly high, but the practice is
not as effective as it might be. Over the next ten years, however, more companies will
be able to improve this type of coaching by using both internal and external training
resources. Modules on peer coaching will be incorporated into more development
programs, and there will be more e-learning tools for helping employees learn how to
peer coach more effectively. In addition, there is likely to be greater emphasis on
building internal coaching expertise among training and development professionals
and managers. These coaches will continue to be used, however, for midlevel managers
or below, rather than for C-level positions, which will continue to rely primarily on
external coaches.

Matchmaking Will Become Essential to Successful Coaching


As they come to realize the importance of matching the right coach to the right
coachee, organizations and coaching firms will look for better ways of matchmaking
before the fact. This will rely on tools that help match people according to their
personalities as well as their fields of expertise. There will also be a greater emphasis
on interviews and on results from previous clients.

Establishing Metrics Will Become a Standard Practice


Coaching agencies and companies that hire coaches will become better at measuring
coaching performance. For coaching agencies, this will be an important part of the
performance management process. Those agencies will be particularly interested in
developing before and after metrics that can be used in their own promotionsfor
example, the average performance improvement resulting from a one-year coaching
program.
More and more professional coaches will have skills in helping organizations
measure the results of coaching. Its unlikely that every client will want to or be able to
measure coaching outcomes the exact same way, but coaches increasingly will be able
to offer various strategies for measuring the return on the coaching relationship.
In some cases, client companies will want to measure if the coachee becomes more
productive or skilled in certain areas. In other cases, companies will look more at
engagement levels or levels of performance among work teams. In many cases,
coaches will become more practiced at helping companies connect the dots.
Some will argue that it is a conflict of interest to have coaches help companies
derive metrics that will be used to evaluate coaching performance, but its likely that
coaches will mainly do this in partnership with internal learning professionals who
also have some expertise in measurement. That is, coaches will have ideas on how
to measure performance but the metric choices will ultimately be made by the
client company.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Coaching Will Become More Virtual


More coaching will be conducted via multiple technologies as well as through face-toface interactions. Advances in bandwidth, computing power, videoconferencing
applications, and other technologies will allow virtual coaching relationships to feel
more like face-to-face interactions. In addition, professional coaches will be able to
prescribe certain e-learning development modules for their clients in order to help
them develop outside of the coaching dialogue. Nonetheless, coaching will be resistant
to automation technologies because its strength tends to lie in personalization
and customization.

External Coaching Development Sources Will Be Established


The AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity survey shows that external development
programs for coaching are more highly correlated with success than internal ones.
This represents a market opportunity for universities and other institutions that provide
education to those who wish to enter the coaching field. As the coaching industry
matures, several institutions will become predominant feeder schools for coaching
firms and organizations that wish to hire coaches. As top coaching talent is drawn into
these institutions, they will form strong alumni networks that serve to enhance their
reputations. These institutions will provide not only accreditation but also ethics
codes and standard practices. They will go a long way toward making coaching an
established and respected profession.

Organizations Will Become Savvier Consumers of Coaching


As coaching becomes less of a cottage industry, organizations will be better able to
determine which are the best coaches and coaching institutions. There will still be
plenty of word of mouth about who are the best coaches, and coaching gurus will
remain. Reputation will still count. But there will also be more data available in regard
to coaching successes, and corporations will have a better understanding of how much
they should pay for coaching services. In addition, companies will become savvier
about managing external coaches to ensure those relationships are as productive
as possible.
Third-party systems are likely to spring up to help consumers of coaching.
Those systems will allow those who have received professional coaching to rate their
coaches or the vendors that provide those coaches. There might also be approved
vendor lists in which coaches receive some specific index score based on criteria
such as credentials, customer satisfaction history, years of experience, and so forth.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Conclusion
Coaching is a growing fieldjust over half of
AMA/Institute for Corporate Productivity
respondents say their organizations have coaching
programs in place. Of those that dont, over a
third have plans to begin coaching programs in
the future.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

While the number of new entrants to the field of coaching may be slowing, a majority
of organizations are using coaching more than in the past. And organizations that use
coaching more than in the past also tend to report two other outcomes: greater success
in achieving their coaching goals and stronger market performance.
The desire to improve individual performance and productivity is the most
widely cited reason for using a coach. Developing leaders, improving succession plans,
and increasing skill levels are other frequently cited reasons behind coaching.
Additionally, it was found that the more an organization has clear reasons for using a
coachbe it leadership development or boosting engagementthe more likely it is
that the coaching program will be seen as successful. In short, organizations that have
a well-defined purpose for using coaches are more likely to also report having
successful coaching programs.
Presently, there is no universally accepted certification for coaches. However,
coaching programs are growing in terms of applicants and in sheer numbers of
available programs. As the coaching field continues to mature, it is predicted that
accreditation and coaching credentials will become necessary, but not sufficient, for
coaches planning to enter the field.
Given that about one quarter of all coaching relationships are either terminated
early or a decision is made not to use a particular coach again, efforts should be made
to reduce the number of mismatches between coaches and employees. Organizations
are encouraged to prescreen coaches and carefully align the coachs skills to the needs,
interests, and stated problem areas of the employee. Attempting to match coaches to
coachees based on needed expertise and complementary personalities will probably
be worth the effort.
Coaching is most frequently used for high potentials and executives. The results
showed that there is a significant relationship between using coaches for these groups
and coaching success. While problem employees are also frequently the recipients of
coaching, there is no clear relationship with coaching success for this group.
Surprisingly, expatriates receive coaching least frequently, yet, when they do, there is
a significant relationship to coaching success as well as to market performance.
Therefore, these results suggest that an organizations investment of coaching time
and dollars be directed toward high potentials, executives, and expatriates. Problem
employees might be better served by a mentoring-type relationship with a trusted
internal employee.
Selecting a coach is currently based primarily on business experience,
recommendations from a trusted source, and interviews with the prospective coach.
Each of these methods is related to coaching success, the strongest being conducting
interviews. Less popular selection methods involve assessing the relevance of
certifications, accreditation, and various university backgrounds. Additionally, the
selection of a coach on the basis of business or consulting experience or the possession
of a Ph.D. was associated with improved market performance. Given the connections
to coaching success and market performance, organizations should continue to focus
their selection efforts on a combination of business and consulting experience, interviews,
and validated results of how a coach has performed in the past.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Employers should strongly consider using an external coach for top executives.
While using more cost-effective internal coaches may be useful for managers and
supervisors, it appears that, at the executive level, external coaches are worth the extra
cost. When it comes to training internal coaches, there is a tendency to resort to using
resources within the organization (developing training courses and using existing
internal coaches to provide the training). However, these results support using externally
based development programs or bringing in external talent for this purpose instead,
given their stronger association with coaching success.
Organizations are using a variety of methods to measure the success of their
coaching initiatives. The results of this survey suggest that, ideally, individual productivity
and engagement should be assessed, given their stronger association with coaching
success. However, an interesting finding was simply that when organizations measure
the success of coachingusing any of the measurement methodsreported coaching
success improved. Therefore, although some observers believe coaching is not well
suited to metrics, it appears that what gets measured gets accomplished more effectively.
This probably bodes well for the future of coaching both as a development strategy
and as a profession.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Epilogue
You cant manage without measuring. Executive coaching has become one of the tools
to achieve effective leadership in todays vastly changing corporate culture. As we
increasingly learn how to measure executive coaching, we will find that we manage its
role in leadership development better.
Admittedly, as this study indicated, the roadmap has not been without bumps
and potholes. In going forward, what we have learned from this study will pave the
way to a clearer understanding of the possibilities of executive coaching and its practice. Change will need to come quickly given the vacancies in top management that
are likely to occur due to retirement of the baby boomer generation.
As we review the findings of this study, it is evident how executive coaching can
supplement the professional development of executive leadership. What the coach can
bring to the learning experience is insight, a desire to help, genuine concern, and feedback. The executive who receives the coaching in turn will be better equipped and more
firmly grounded to exercise leadership and ensure corporate competitive advantage.
As the practices of an executive coach become more formalized and defined,
American Management Association will place itself in a position to assist in the
development and use of executive coaches. For example, retention is a major talent
management issue today, and AMA believes that coaching can play a positive role to
assure retention of high performance leadershipa role in which AMA already is a
key player.
Finally, as executive coaching expands and matures, AMA will be on hand to
help companies leverage it well in the global marketplace.
Edward T. Reilly
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Management Association

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Appendix
About this Survey
Target Survey Population
Overall, this survey represents usable responses from two groups of survey respondents,
which are designated North American and International respondents. There were
854 North American participants and 176 international respondents. However, the
North American set of responses, which was collected in advance of the international
responses, contains a small percentage of international responses as well (4.6% were
not from the U.S. or Canada). Because the former was analyzed before the next set of
international data was collected, however, it was convenient to designate these two
groups in this manner for comparisons sake.
The surveys were distributed via an e-mail link and were completed primarily by
managers (45%) in the North American sample and by directors in the international
group (43%). For the North American sample, the largest percentage of respondents
came from the HR function (17%), while 15% came from Operations. In the
international group, the majority of responses were from General Management
(26%), while another 21% came from HR.
Survey Instrument
In this survey, multiple questions used the well-accepted Likert-type scale, with a
1 rating generally designated as not at all and a 5 rating designated as extensively.
There were 33 questions in all, nine geared toward the demographics of respondents.
Some questions had multiple parts.
Procedure
A link to an online survey was e-mailed to the target population by region during
December 2007 and January 2008. Most of the North American responses were
collected in December and most of the international responses were collected
in January.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Demographic Questions and Results


Table 1

What is your current title?


Responses

North American

International

CEO/President/Chairman

5.3%

9.1%

EVP/SVP

2.6

2.8

Vice President

5.0

10.8

Director

15.2

43.2

Manager

44.6

19.9

Supervisor

5.0

1.7

22.7

12.5

Other

Table 2

In what function do you currently work?


Responses

North American

International

Finance

7.2%

General Management

9.0

26.4

16.8

21.3

Administrative

4.3

1.2

Marketing

8.1

10.9

Operations

14.7

10.3

Research and Development

4.9

1.7

Sales

9.3

7.5

Systems/IT

6.3

5.2

19.4

9.2

HR

Other

6.3%

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 3

What is the size of your workforce?


Responses

North American

International

Under 100 employees

25.0%

31.3%

100-499

23.1

22.7

500-999

10.8

6.3

1,000-3,499

14.7

10.2

3,500-4,999

3.4

2.3

5,000-9,999

6.5

7.8

16.5

19.3

10,000-or more

Table 4

In U.S. dollars, what is your organizations total revenue?


Responses

North American

International

Less than $10 million

16.1%

12.7%

$10 to $24.9 million

8.9

7.3

$25 to $49.9 million

7.3

7.3

$50 to $99.9 million

7.6

8.5

$100 to $249 million

10.5

10.3

$250 to $499 million

8.1

6.7

$500 to $999 million

8.1

7.3

$1 to $2.99 billion

8.3

6.7

$3 to $9.99 billion

12.0

15.8

$10 billion or more

13.7

17.6

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 5

What is your organizations type of operation?


Responses

North American

International

Global (high level of


global integration)

34.0%

51.7%

Multinational (national/regional
operations act independently
of one another)

21.4

37.4

National (operations in
one country only)

44.7

10.9

Table 6

In what function do you currently work?


Responses
Agriculture

North American
.9%

International
.6%

Consumer goods

3.9

4.6

Chemicals

2.2

8.1

Education

5.0

1.2

Energy/utilities

5.1

.6

Entertainment/hospitality

1.8

2.9

Financial services/banking

8.5

7.5

Food products

1.4

4.6

Government

5.7

1.2

Hi-tech/telecom

4.3

8.1

Hospital/health care/insurance

5.0

4.0

16.4

12.6

Mining/petroleum

1.5

2.3

Nonprofit

4.0

.0

Pharma/biotech/medical device

6.1

18.4

Retail

2.5

.6

Services

7.7

8.1

18.1

14.9

Manufacturing

Other

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 7

In which region are you personally located?


North American Sample
Responses

Overall Results

U.S.

63.2%

Canada

32.2

Other

4.6
International Sample

Responses

Overall Results

Other Asia

4.7%

China

1.2

Eastern Europe
France

20.0
4.1

Germany

10.0

Middle East

12.4

Oceania
Other Western Europe
Scandinavia
South America

.6
35.3
7.1
.6

United Kingdom

2.4

Other

1.8

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 8 and 9

When compared with the past five years, how would you rate
your companys performance now?
North American Sample
All-Time
Low

N/A

Revenue Growth

11.5%

1.1%

6.7%

15.5%

45.7%

19.5%

Market Share

13.4

1.2

6.1

21.6

45.7

12.0

Profitability

13.1

1.2

10.3

18.5

43.6

13.2

4.4

.9

6.7

29.9

47.3

10.9

Same

Better

All-Time
High

Customer Satisfaction

Worse

Same

Better

All-Time
High

Responses

International Sample

Responses

N/A

All-Time
Low

Worse

Revenue Growth

1.2%

.0%

4.6%

13.3%

55.5%

25.4%

Market Share

1.7

.6

5.8

24.3

54.9

12.7

Profitability

1.2

.0

10.4

12.7

57.2

18.5

Customer Satisfaction

1.8

.0

7.7

32.9

46.5

11.2

Coaching Questions
Table 10

Do you currently have one or more coaching


programs in place?
Responses

North American

International

Yes

52.2%

54.7%

No

47.8

45.4

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 11

How long have these programs existed?


Responses

North American

International

Less than 1 year

12.7%

23.9%

1-3 years

33.7

41.3

3-5 years

20.5

15.2

More than 5 years

33.2

19.6

Table 12

Do you plan to implement coaching


programs in the future?
Responses

North American

International

Yes

36.9%

55.8%

No

63.1

44.2

Table 13

Which of the following statements best describes your organizations use of coaching?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Results

We use coaching less than in the past

10.9%

We use coaching about the same as in the past

31.7

We use coaching more than in the past

57.4

Correlation with
Coaching Success1

r=.18**

Correlation with
Market Performance2

r=.13**

1** A significant correlation (p<.01) exists between the degree to which organizations use coaching and the success of that coaching.
Specifically, the more companies have increased their coaching, the greater their reported coaching success.
2** A significant correlation (p<.01) exists between the degree to which organizations use coaching and their market performance, which is an index based
on revenue growth, customer satisfaction, profitability, and market share. Specifically, the more companies have increased their coaching, the greater
their reported market performance.

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COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 13 (continued)

Which of the following statements best describes your organizations use of coaching?
International Sample
Overall
Results

Responses
We use coaching less than in the past

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.21

r=.20

7.4%

We use coaching about the same as in the past

29.6

We use coaching more than in the past

63.0

Table 14

Approximately how much does your


organization spend on coaching per year?
Responses

North American

International

0-$24,999

35.1%

26.7%

$25,000-$49,000

16.6

20.0

$50,000-$99,999

13.2

17.3

$100,000-$500,000

24.5

20.0

$500,000-$1 million

5.0

8.0

$1 million or more

4.7

8.0

53

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 15

What is the average duration of a typical


coaching arrangement?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Results

0-3 months

23.6%

3-6 months

28.3

6-12 months

29.7

Over 1 year

18.4

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.17**

r=.02

** A significant correlation (p<.01) exists between the duration of a coaching relationship and the success of coaching in an
organization. Specifically, the longer the coaching period lasts, the more successful it is reported to be.

Table 16
International Sample

Responses

Overall
Results

0-3 months

20.3%

3-6 months

34.2

6-12 months

27.9

Over 1 year

17.7

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r= -.10

r= -.17

Table 17

How are your coaching sessions conducted?


Responses
Mostly face-to-face

North American

International

58.0%

80.0%

Mostly over the phone

3.8

1.3

Mostly Web-based and


computer technologies

1.2

.0

37.0

18.8

Combination of methods

54

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 18 and 19

To what extent does your organization use coaching for the following purposes?
North American Sample

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

To improve organizational
performance

3.5

55.5%

r=.35**

r=.06

To improve individual
performance/productivity

4.0

78.5

.40**

.11

To increase individual
worker skill levels

3.7

60.3

.23**

.00

To improve performance of
employees whose
supervisor is being coached

2.7

26.4

.18**

.06

To boost employee
engagement

3.1

40.9

.25**

.01

To improve recruitment
outcomes

2.6

24.3

.19**

.03

To improve retention rates

2.9

38.0

.24**

.12*

To address leadership
development/succession
planning

3.7

62.7

.33**

.13*

To address specific
workplace problems

3.2

43.7

.20**

.09

Responses

Correlation with
Market Performance

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.


** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

55

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 18 and 19 (continued)

To what extent does your organization use coaching for the following purposes?
International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

To improve organizational
performance

3.6

61.4%

To improve individual
performance/productivity

4.2

To increase individual
worker skill levels

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.09

r=-.08

87.3

.20

.18

3.7

60.0

.19

.20

To improve performance of
employees whose
supervisor is being coached

2.8

29.0

.24*

.21

To boost employee
engagement

3.1

44.9

.14

.03

To improve recruitment
outcomes

2.4

14.3

.14

.07

To improve retention rates

2.8

31.0

.02

.11

To address leadership
development/succession
planning

3.8

81.7

.00

.08

To address specific
workplace problems

3.1

37.7

.09

.06

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

56

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 20 and 21

To what extent do you use the following criteria when selecting coaches?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Business experience

3.8

68.4%

Consulting experience

3.4

Counseling or therapy
experience

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.17**

r=.19**

51.6

.17**

.13**

2.6

24.3

.07

.11

Interview with the


prospective coach

3.4

54.1

.24**

.08

Recommendations from
a trusted source

3.6

59.1

.18**

.06

Validated client results

3.2

48.2

.21**

.08

Coaching certifications

2.8

32.5

.18**

.06

Accreditation

2.7

28.6

.16**

.05

University degree in
applicable field

2.7

28.4

.15**

.04

Ph.D.

2.0

10.4

.11

.16**

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

57

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 20 and 21 (continued)

To what extent do you use the following criteria when selecting coaches?
International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success
r=.19

Correlation with
Market Performance

Business experience

3.9

70.8%

r=.08

Consulting experience

3.6

57.8

.35*

.11

Counseling or therapy
experience

2.8

25.7

.14

.22

Interview with the


prospective coach

3.7

59.4

.28*

.07

Recommendations from
a trusted source

3.5

59.1

.20

.19

Validated client results

3.0

38.0

.21

.15

Coaching certifications

2.8

28.2

.21

.13

Accreditation

3.0

34.3

.16

.12

University degree in
applicable field

2.8

27.1

.14

.03

Ph.D.

2.0

4.3

.17

.17

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

58

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 22 and 23

To what extent do you use the following criteria to match


coaches with employees?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Gender

1.9

7.6%

r=.16**

Approximate age

1.9

6.1

.18**

Personality

3.1

45.5

.22**

Coaches expertise or issue


to be solved

3.9

73.7

.19**

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Gender

1.7

6.5%

r=.06

Approximate age

2.0

8.2

.20

Personality

3.8

66.7

.20

Coaches expertise or issue


to be solved

4.2

92.5

.33*

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

59

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 24 and 25

What percentage of your coaches is hired


from a source external to your company?
North American Sample
Responses

Overall Results

0-25%

56.2%

26-50%

9.5

51-75%

9.9

76-100%

24.5
International Sample

Responses

Overall Results

0-25%

47.8%

26-50%

7.5

51-75%

22.4

76-100%

22.4

Tables 26 and 27

In this company, how often are external coaches hired to work with the following groups?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Executives

3.2

41.5%

Managers

2.8

Supervisors
All employees

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.22**

r=.05

26.5

.24**

.05

2.3

12.9

.23**

.00

1.9

4.6

.24**

.06

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

60

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 26 and 27 (continued)

In this company, how often are external coaches hired to work with the following groups?
North American Sample
Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Responses

Overall
Means

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Executives

3.4

53.8%

Managers

3.1

40.9

.48**

.04

Supervisors

2.4

21.2

.45**

.11

All employees

1.9

10.9

.15

.07

r=.26*

Correlation with
Market Performance
r=.02

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.


** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

Tables 28 and 29

In this company, how often are internal coaches hired to work with the following groups?
North American Sample
Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Responses

Overall
Means

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

Executives

2.7

27.7%

r=.05

r=.02

Managers

3.2

46.4

.08

.02

Supervisors

3.2

46.9

.19**

.02

All employees

3.0

42.6

.16**

.01

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.


** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

61

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 28 and 29 (continued)

In this company, how often are internal coaches hired to work with the following groups?
Internal Sample
Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Responses

Overall
Means

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

Executives

2.4

24.6%

r=.04

r=.01

Managers

3.1

42.4

.11

.08

Supervisors

3.1

45.5

.22

.09

All employees

2.8

38.5

.12

-.05

Tables 30 and 31

To what extent does your organization use coaching in the following ways?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

As an integrated part of a
training or development
program

3.5

57.0%

As the primary activity of


a training or development
program

3.1

As a stand-alone activity
unrelated to a training or
development program

2.9

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.36**

r=.07

38.0

.24**

.06

29.9

.02

-.07

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

62

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 30 and 31 (continued)

To what extent does your organization use coaching in the following ways?
International Sample

Overall
Means

Responses

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.03

r=.15

As an integrated part of a
training or development
program

3.6

63.1%

As the primary activity of


a training or development
program

3.1

39.7

.11

-.03

As a stand-alone activity
unrelated to a training or
development program

2.8

29.7

.12

.01

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

Tables 32 and 33

To what extent do you use coaching for the following groups?


North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success
r=.34**

Correlation with
Market Performance

High potentials

3.6

59.5%

r=.12

Problem employees

3.1

37.4

.10

.01

Executives

3.3

41.6

.26**

.09

Expatriates

1.8

6.7

.16**

.19**

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

63

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 32 and 33 (continued)

To what extent do you use coaching for the following groups?


International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Frequently
or a Great Deal

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=-.02

r=.08

High potentials

3.9

72.3%

Problem employees

2.9

29.7

.16

.10

Executives

3.4

53.1

.10

.14

Expatriates

2.2

10.0

.06

.25*

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

64

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 34 and 35

To what extent does your organization measure the success of its coaching programs
in the following ways?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

Bottom-line impact on the


business

2.6

25.1%

Individual performance
evaluations (e.g., 360-degree
performance appraisal

3.5

60.5

.29**

.06

Increase in individual
productivity

3.4

54.2

.32**

.11

Increase in individual
assessment tool scores
(e.g., emotional intelligence)

2.7

48.8

.29**

.11

Performance of the
employees whose supervisor
is being coached

2.5

23.3

.21**

.14*

Impact on engagement

2.8

32.3

.32**

.02

Impact on recruitment

2.2

15.4

.24**

.08

Impact on retention

2.7

30.0

.29**

.04

Satisfaction with program

3.3

49.2

.30**

.01

r=.30**

r=.17**

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.


** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

65

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 34 and 35 (continued)

To what extent does your organization measure the success of its coaching programs
in the following ways?
International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Bottom-line impact on the


business

2.6

32.8%

Individual performance
evaluations (e.g., 360-degree
performance appraisal

3.6

Increase in individual
productivity

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.36**

r=.15

57.8

.28**

.25

3.6

56.3

.40**

.25

Increase in individual
assessment tool scores
(e.g., emotional intelligence)

3.1

35.5

.15

.12

Performance of the
employees whose supervisor
is being coached

2.6

22.2

.22

.30*

Impact on engagement

3.0

38.1

.17

.33*

Impact on recruitment

2.3

17.7

.08

.25*

Impact on retention

2.7

30.7

.16

.26*

Satisfaction with program

3.5

50.0

.19

.10

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.


** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

66

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 36 and 37

To what extent does your organization use the following methods


to train internal coaches?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Training courses aimed at


teaching people how to coach

2.8

34.4%

Other existing internal


coaches to train new coaches

2.7

Send potential coaches to


external development programs

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.23**

r=-.02

27.2

.21**

.03

2.6

26.7

.31**

.03

Hire external coaches to teach


internal personnel how to coach

2.3

18.9

.29**

.03

E-learning system that helps


people learn how to coach

1.9

8.9

.09

.02

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

International Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Correlation with
Market Performance

r=.16

r=.23

Training courses aimed at


teaching people how to coach

3.1

39.3%

Other existing internal


coaches to train new coaches

2.6

27.4

.23

.03

Send potential coaches to


external development programs

2.8

33.9

.32*

.25*

Hire external coaches to teach


internal personnel how to coach

2.6

32.2

.29*

.12

E-learning system that helps


people learn how to coach

1.9

9.8

.06

-.03

* Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

67

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 38

To what extent do you agree that coaching has been


successful in your organization?
North American Sample

International Sample

Overall
Mean

Respondents Choosing
Agree and
Strongly Agree

Overall
Mean

Respondents Choosing
Agree and
Strongly Agree

3.8

69.1%

3.9

81.8%

Table 39

Have you ever terminated the contract of an external coach


(e.g., ending the coaching relationship earlier than specified by
the contract or failing to rehire for future coaching)?
Responses

North American

International

Yes

24.0%

32.3%

No

76.0

67.7

68

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 40 and 41

To what extent do you agree that the termination was based on


the following reasons?
North American Sample

Responses

Overall
Means

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Questionable expertise of coaches

3.3

52.5%

r= -.02

Lack of time for employees


participation

2.9

32.8

-.04

Mismatches between coach


and employee

3.5

64.5

-.29**

Inability of employee to change

3.0

41.6

.00

Unwillingness of employee to
engage in the coaching process

2.9

36.6

-.12

Insufficient funding

2.6

32.8

-.27**

Not seen as urgent by top


management

2.8

32.8

-.35**

ROI not easily measurable

3.0

39.4

-.40**

** Correlation is significant at the .001 level.

69

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Tables 40 and 41 (continued)

To what extent do you agree that the termination was based on


the following reasons?
International Sample

Overall
Means

Responses

Respondents
Choosing Quite a
Bit or Extensively

Correlation with
Coaching Success

Questionable expertise of coaches

3.6

65.0%

r= .43*

Lack of time for employees


participation

2.8

19.1

.26

Mismatches between coach


and employee

4.0

81.0

.20

Inability of employee to change

2.7

20.0

.11

Unwillingness of employee to
engage in the coaching process

3.0

40.0

.15

Insufficient funding

2.1

10.0

.19

Not seen as urgent by top


management

2.3

10.0

.08

ROI not easily measurable

2.7

15.0

.27

** Correlation is significant at the .05 level.

Table 42

Do you use peer-to-peer coaching in


your organization?
Responses

North American

International

Yes

49.0%

44.4%

No

51.0

55.6

70

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 43

How effective has peer-to-peer coaching been?


North American Sample

International Sample

Overall
Mean

Respondents Choosing
Very Effective or
Extremely Effective

Overall
Mean

Respondents Choosing
Very Effective or
Extremely Effective

3.2

31.8%

3.3

30.2%

Table 44

Have you personally received executive coaching (i.e., have you received
coaching as part of a more formal coaching program and not simply been
the recipient of ongoing coaching from a supervisor)?
Responses

Overall Results

Yes

42.0%

No

58.0

71

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

Table 45

To what extent do you agree with the following statements?


Please answer regarding your current job and your current performance.
Correlation with Whether or Not
Respondent Has Received Coaching

Responses
I regularly seek feedback from my supervisor

r=.03

I frequently seek ideas for personal


improvement from my supervisor

.07

I regularly set specific goals for performance at work

.14**

My subordinates trust my leadership abilities

.15**

I listen carefully to my direct reports

.10*

I am aware of what I am feeling at any time

.05

I can accurately read the emotions of


my employees

.09*

I can easily establish and maintain


relationships

.05

I handle stressful events well, without falling apart

.09*

I am easily able to change old habits

.05

Overall, I am satisfied with my job

.12*

* Correlation is significant at p<.05.


** Correlation is significant at p<.001.

Table 46

Questions

North American

International

What percentage of your


employees uses coaches?

28.2%

18.2%

How many sessions does


that entail? (average)

9.94

8.1

72

COACHING: A GLOBAL STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES >>

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Authors and Contributors


AUTHORS
Holly B. Tompson, Ph.D., is a senior research analyst at the Institute for Corporate
Productivity. Tompson has taught in the management departments of several universities, including the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, and, most
recently, the University of Tampa. Her research has focused on work-life balance and
leadership development, with an emphasis on training high-potential employees to
sustain maximum success without burnout. Dr. Tompson is also active in the University
of Tampas Executive Education program, where she is currently a leadership and
development coach. Contact information: (813) 601-5638 or holly.tompson@i4cp.com.
Donna J. Bear is the Leadership Knowledge Center manager for the Institute for
Corporate Productivity. She has a B.S. degree in business administration and an M.S.
degree in management and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.
Her previous experience as an HR generalist/consultant spans the PEO, corporate, and
not-for-profit sectors. Contact information: (727) 345-2226 or donna.bear@i4cp.com.
Donna J. Dennis, Ph.D., is a leadership development professional with over 30 years
of experience helping leaders and teams increase leadership and team effectiveness
through coaching, strategic planning, and team building. Dr. Dennis is known
for innovative, business-focused solutions to organization and leadership issues.
She holds a masters degree in education, a Ph.D. in human development, and
certification in personality assessment and executive coaching. Contact information:
(609) 497-1997 or donna@leadership-solutions.info.

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Mark Vickers is the vice president of research at the Institute for Corporate
Productivity and served as editor for this report. He has authored many studies and
white papers for the institute, served as managing editor of the Human Resource
Institute, and is currently the editor of TrendWatcher. He has authored and coauthored
various periodical articles and has served as an editor and project manager for
numerous primary research projects. Contact information: (727) 345-2226 or
mark.vickers@i4cp.com.
Judy London is a research analyst manager for the Institute for Corporate
Productivity. She is also author of the institutes Coaching Highlight Report.
In addition, she covers a variety of other issues related to workforce planning and
generational differences in the workforce. Contact information: (727) 345-2226
or judy.london@i4cp.com.
Carol L. Morrison is a senior research analysis for the Institute for Corporate
Productivity. She has a B.S. degree in sociology/social work and a B.S. degree in
business administration/marketing. Her career experience spans public, private,
and nonprofit sectors. She has established and directed a municipal government
information department and headed employee communications for national and
multinational corporations. She is the author of research reports on subjects ranging
from productivity to employee engagement. Contact information: (727) 345-2226
or carol.morrison@i4cp.com.

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS
Several staff members of the Institute for Corporate Productivity provided background research, writing, and other support for this report. Special thanks to Greg
Pernula, who worked on the survey implementation, to Ellen Serrano, who helped
provide background research, to Donna Campbell, who proofed the report, to Joe
Jamrog, who created the graphs, and to Mindy Meisterlin, who helped with the tables.

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About American Management Association


American Management Association (AMA) is a world leader in professional
development and performance-based learning solutions.
AMA provides individuals and organizations worldwide with the knowledge,
skills and tools to achieve performance excellence, adapt to changing realities and
prosper in a complex and competitive world. Each year thousands of customers learn
new skills and behaviors, gain more confidence, advance their careers and contribute to
the success of their organizations. AMA offers a range of unique seminars, workshops,
conferences, customized corporate programs, online learning, newsletters, journals
and AMA books.
AMA has earned the reputation as a trusted partner in worldwide professional
development and management education that improves the immediate performance
and long-term results for individuals and organizations. For more information on how
you and your organization can gain a competitive advantage, visit www.amanet.org

Institute for Corporate Productivity


(Formerly known as the Human Resource Institute)
The Institute for Corporate Productivity improves corporate productivity through a
combination of research, community, tools, and technology focused on the management
of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including
many of the best-known companies in the world, the Institute for Corporate
Productivity draws upon one of the industrys largest and most-experienced research
teams and Executives-in-Residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of
rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the
management of people in organizations. Additionally, the Institute for Corporate
Productivity identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends
that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients
with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and next practices on
these issues and trends.

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About This Report


This report is based on a survey that included 1,030 respondents,
in-depth discussions among a team of researchers, and an
extensive review of the business literature. Commissioned by
American Management Association and conducted by the
Institute for Corporate Productivity, this report:

Takes a historical look at the literature on coaching


Discusses the factors influencing coaching
Explores the characteristics of state-of-the-art coaching
practices in the context of data from the survey
Provides information on coaching practices outside
of North Americaprimarily in Europe and the
Middle East
Provides a forecast describing what the state of coaching
may look like in the year 2018
Provides a detailed look at the results from the AMA/
Institute for Corporate Productivity Coaching Survey 2008

For more information about American Management Association


www.amanet.org 1-800-262-9699

American Management Association New York


Management Centre Europe Brussels
Canadian Management Centre Toronto
American Management Association Mexico City
American Management Association Japan Tokyo
American Management Association China Shanghai